City gets two dentists for community clinic
By LEE McIVORlmcivor@gladstoneobserver.com.au
GLADSTONE will get two new dentists operating out of the Community Dental Clinic in the new year.
Oral Health Services central district manager Rod Hutcheon said the two dentists would replace two dentists who left the clinic earlier this year.
'The dentists will be starting on the first of February,' he said.
The new dentists will be graduates of the University of Melbourne and will be qualified and registered to practise in the state.
'The appointment of these two dentists will bring Gladstone back to a full complement of dentists,' Mr Hutcheon said.
The dental clinic will relocate next year as work begins on the construction of a new clinic at Gladstone Hospital.
Mr Hutcheon said work should begin on the clinic in the latter half of next year.
'We are hoping the new dental clinic will be ready for business in February 2007,' he said.
'The new facilities will help us to retain dentists as well as help with the recruitment of dentists to the area.'
Mr Hutcheon said the relocation of the clinic to the hospital might help Gladstone attract extra dentists to the region.
The public dental waiting list in Gladstone is two and a half to three years and, according to Mr Hutcheon, it is one of the best in the state.
'The reason for the long waiting times is that emergency dental work takes precedence over check-ups,' he said.
"Acute services are non-existent for private patients so they access the public dental service for emergency work and this extends the waiting times for those requiring general check-ups,'' Mr Hutcheon said.