St Patrick’s opens free oral health clinic for homeless



The opening last month of St Patrick’s Oral Health Clinic, which provides free and accessible health care for the homeless and other disadvantaged people in Fremantle, WA, and surrounding areas, is the culmination of a dream by the St Patrick’s Community Support Centre (St Patrick’s).

The official launch was held at the new clinic on August 10, and presided over by St Patrick’s board chair, Dr Pat Colgan, a dentist himself and former ADA National President.

Speaking at the opening, St Patrick’s deputy CEO, Michael Piu, pointed to the devastating impact of poor oral health on people’s physical and mental wellbeing, confidence and self-esteem.

“The St Pat’s Oral Health Clinic will make a real difference in people’s lives and help them move forward in life and achieve a more positive future. It was a very emotional experience to see one of the first clients emerge from the clinic,” Piu said.

Piu and St Patrick’s CEO, Steve McDermott, used the occasion of the official opening to thank the many supporters of the clinic, among them Joe Minervini from industry supplier A-dec, who was able to source a full complement of equipment, which “would be the envy of many dentists”.

Dentists from the National Dental Foundation and nurses from Dental Nursing Australia nurses will donate time to operate the clinic, providing oral healthcare to those unable to access public or private dental services. But with a waiting list for patients already, St Patrick’s is hoping to attract more volunteer dental and nursing teams to keep up with demand for this much-needed dental service.

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  1. Bravo St Patrick’s. I do remote area GP locums. 10% of consultations are for dental pain and abscesses. Dental care is one of the major health needs in Australia but is neglected by governments e.g. exclusion from patient assisted travel schemes.

  2. What a wonderful idea.
    Is there anything similar planned for Melbourne?
    I have seen the devastating effects poor oral health and appearance have on people’s not only overall well being, but also their confidence,willingness and ability to interview well and ultimately secure a job, that would not only increase their self worth, but also their living conditions.
    If there is, I would be very interested to know about this .

  3. Fantastic! Is there a main communication pathway people interested on donating their time can go to for more information and express their interest?


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