Mobile Dental Unit Helps To Reduce Waiting Times In Mount Gambier

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A mobile dental unit is helping to reduce waiting times in Mount Gambier, South Australia.

The latest figures show that waiting times have fallen from four years in 2012 to two years in 2013. Despite the improvements, times are still among the longest in South Australia and Geoff Franklin, chief executive of The South Australian Dental Service, admits that there is still a way to go.

The state average is currently nine months, meaning that waiting lists in Mount Gambier are still far too long; however, a number of initiatives have helped to halve waiting times over the course of the last 12 months and health bosses are optimistic that significant improvements will be made in the coming months. A mobile dental unit has been stationed at the local hospital and the number of dentists has increased; the health service has also been working with private dentists to enable public patients to use private dental facilities.

Mr Franklin said that there were plans to increase the number of dental chairs at the public hospital from six to ten, which will make a huge difference to the capacity and enable dental students to use the additional chairs for training purposes. The idea is that allowing students to train in the area will encourage them to stay after they have qualified, as well as increasing the number of patients who can receive treatment at the clinic.

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