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Ottawa Public Health

Changes to the Healthy Smiles Ontario Program

Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) is a government-funded dental program that provides free preventive, routine, and emergency dental services for children and youth 17 years old and under from low-income households. It covers dental check-ups, cleaning, filling, x-rays and more. 

New: Children are automatically eligible for HSO if they or their family receive:

  • Ontario Works
  • Ontario Disability Support Program
  • Assistance for Children with Severe Disabilities (recipient child only)

HSO is available to all low-income families in Ontario. Any family with income below the program’s income thresholds residing in Ontario can 

apply to receive children’s dental coverage.

HSO program includes the Emergency and Essential Services Stream (EESS) to address emergency and/or essential dental needs. To qualify for EESS, you must:

  • have a clinical need
  • be able to show financial hardship.

Consult the attached handout for more information or call Ottawa Public Health Information Line at 613-580-6744.

Ottawa Public Health Immunization 

Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is reviewing the immunization records of 150,000 students attending elementary and secondary schools in Ottawa to make sure the information is up-to-date. Updates on immunizations are crucial information to protect the health of students during an infectious disease outbreak, such as measles. Under the Immunization of School Pupils Act (ISPA), students attending school in Ontario are required to be vaccinated against nine diseases or have a valid exemption. 

In the months ahead, OPH will be sending letters to parents/guardians if their child's records are not up-to-date. A suspension from school may be issued if a student's record remains incomplete. A suspension from school may be issued if a student's record remains incomplete. Written notices from Ottawa Public Health for students are now being mailed to parents.

To avoid school suspensions, parents/guardians who receive a letter requesting immunization information can contact OPH by phone at 613-580-6744 or submit immunization information online, by fax, by mail or by the ImmunizeCA app. 

Parents/guardians can visit parentinginottawa.ca/immunization for more details about how to submit their child's immunization information to Ottawa Public Health. Suspension letters for OCDSB students will be sent home starting in January 2016.

Children who attend school in Ontario are required by law to be immunized against vaccine-preventable diseases or have a valid exemption. To make sure students are safe from these diseases, Ottawa Public Health (OPH) is required to keep information on the immunization status of every child attending school in our city. Students who do not have up to date immunization records may be prevented from attending school. 

To assist parents/guardians in providing OPH with their child’s immunization records, a public health nurse will be available to assist with updates at Jack Donohue school, from 8:00- 4:30 on Thursday, June 18th. Please bring your child’s immunization record or a photocopy of your child’s immunization record with you.

As well, immunization records can be updated online at http://www.ocdsb.ca/med/Pages/Ottawa-Public-Health-Immunization-Record-Update.aspx or by phone at 613-580-6744.

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