Outback Mayor Calls For Better Access To Dental Care

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The mayor of an outback town in Queensland has called for better access to dental care. Mayor John Ferguson, from Bulloo, said that residents are suffering because access to services is so poor.

Mayor Ferguson said that a dentist has not visited the town of Thargomindah for at least ten months, with residents suffering the consequences. In the past, a dentist from Charleville visited rural communities in the area at least twice a year for a week at a time, but the service has ceased and residents are wondering when they will next be able to see a dentist.

Mayor Ferguson said that the last visit was in September last year and no information has been passed on about visits in the future. The current service involves a mobile unit visiting from time to time, but the appointments are booked well in advance and if you do not have an appointment and require urgent dental care, you are forced to travel to Toowoomba, which is ten hour’s drive away or Charleville or Roma.

Councillor Ferguson said that the situation simply was “not good enough” and he has taken the opportunity to raise the issue with Premier Campbell Newman, who pledged to look into the matter.

Standards of oral health in remote areas of Australia are an issue constantly mentioned in the press and the government has come under pressure to improve access to services, with people all over the country waiting for treatment. In the latest Budget, the government promised to invest more money in dental care to create more clinics and expand existing services.


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