New Dental Service Model in Portland

Wednesday, 30 July 2014
Portland & District Health and South West Healthcare have this week joined forces to improve community access to local public dental services.

South West Dental Services (SWDS) – consisting of public dental clinics at Warrnambool, Hamilton, Camperdown and Timboon – started up in January. This week Portland's public dental clinic has come on board.

The shared service model of the five clinics spread across the five Local Government Areas of Glenelg, Southern Grampians, Moyne, Warrnambool and Corangamite is aimed at future-proofing the southwest from the dentists and dental therapists drought other regions are experiencing.

In the past it’s been difficult to recruit and retain dentists in the region resulting in the general public being forced to travel excessive distances to access public dental services, South West Healthcare CEO John Krygger said.

This has put pressure on the waiting lists of the larger community dental services. It's also put financial pressure on lower-income families who’ve been forced to travel longer distances by car because of limited public transport options,Mr Krygger added.

Welcoming the initiative, Portland CEO Christine Giles said local residents would benefit from the new expanded service.

It means services will continue to be offered locally but with the added surety of being part of a broader operation, Ms Giles said.

South West Dental Services offers a comprehensive range of dental services including emergency dental care, oral disease preventative services, oral surgery, restorative procedures, root canal therapy and prosthetics.

SWDS partners can treat any adult with a Pension Concession Card or Health Care Card. Children of all ages can be treated but charges apply if a child isn’t eligible for the Child Dental Benefits Schedule or if his or her parents don’t have a Pension Concession Card or a Health Care Card. Queries can be directed to SWDS reception staff.

The change in management is part of a state-wide sub-regional model adopted for public dental health services.

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