The Florida Dental Association is requesting that state lawmakers allot nearly $2 million for initiatives that would improve access to dental care, particularly for people living in rural areas and those without insurance.
According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a record 6 million Floridians did not have access to adequate dental care as of September 2022. A person’s general health may suffer as a result of poor oral hygiene.
The Florida Dental Association is now advocating for improved access to healthcare. It can be challenging for dentists to practice in rural areas due to student loan debt, according to Joe Anne Hart, who represents the association.
A $300,000 average debt was held by dental school graduates in 2020, according to the American Dental Education Association.
Some states, such as Arizona, New York, and Ohio, have dental student loan payback schemes to encourage practitioners to work in underserved areas and to help people pay off debt. The state-funded programs provide loan reductions to dentists who take Medicaid or practice in underserved areas.
Checkout the recent Florida news given below:
- 12-year-old Boy Makes News by Catching Great White Shark Off Florida Coast
- Lawyer Who Disappeared On A Bathroom Break Was Killed By Florida Plastic Surgeon
- A Florida Doctor Is Accused Of Killing A Lawyer And Has Vanished
In order to implement a comparable scheme in 2019, Gov. Ron DeSantis and the Florida Legislature took action. But funding to launch it has never been included in the state budget. This session, which concludes in May, has not yet deviated from the norm.
Around $250,000 was added in budget drafts that House and Senate committees suggested last week in order to support an annual free dental care clinic run by the dentistry organization. The repayment of student loans and a separate program for donated dental care, which the group claimed would need $1.77 million in funding, were not, however, given any funding.
As someone who is concerned about improving access to care, Hart noted that it is necessary for people to maintain good general health. “We hope that lawmakers would take action to support providing care to thousands of people who are in need,”