Calls for more far west dental clinics, following success in Cobar

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03.-CobarA new private dental clinic in Cobar has been dealing with local patients almost around the clock.

The Dental and Hearing Group opened the three chair dental practice four months ago, and has dentists working from eight in the morning until ten at night on a seven day per fortnight roster.

The Group’s General Manager, Leif Svensson, said the community has welcomed the clinic with open arms.

“We pretty well have stationed dentists there part time but the good news is, it’s getting so busy we’re booked out,” he said.

“The exciting thing about Cobar is that we have two new dentists who will be moving permanently to Cobar and one of them is from Brewarrina so they really have an affinity with the community.”

The Dental and Hearing group last week completed a six month travelling dental service to far west communities including Walgett, Lightning Ridge, Cobar, Brewarrina, and Bourke.

Mr Svensson has called on the Local Area Health departments and Councils to have clinics opened in Bourke and Brewarrina by early next year, after the trial found high demand for such a service.

“The locations are already there, the infrastructure’s already in place, now it’s really just finding a funding model that’s sustainable into the future,” he said.

“To see if we can find some kind of equilibrium now that we know what we’re working with and we’ve got some data to back that up now so we can up with a plan for 2015.”

Mr Svensson said the new practice in Cobar and the travelling program are filling a gap for an essential service in the regional communities.

“Imagine having a tooth ache and having to Dubbo, or some other regional centre, just to be treated. It would be nice to be able to drive down the road and have that pain relieved,” said Mr Svensson.

“That’s really one of the things we were focussing on initially, it’s just helping people with that pain management.”

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