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Dentist hits the road to help rural patients

ON MOVE: Dr Stephen Vennard is keen to work with rural patients.
ON MOVE: Dr Stephen Vennard is keen to work with rural patients. Luka Kauzlaric

DENTISTS can be as rare as hen's teeth in rural areas around Gladstone.

But patients in outlying areas are set to have improved access to health care with a Gladstone dentist preparing to set up a mobile clinic.

Dr Stephen Vennard came up with the idea when he noticed people were travelling hours to get to centres like Gladstone and Rockhampton to have their teeth fixed.

"In some rural areas there seems to be very little service available," he said.

"I was working in a Gladstone surgery and one family drove five hours to get there.

"They arrived 30 minutes late and the receptionist told them to get lost.

"I got reprimanded for agreeing to service them."

That experience helped spur him to help those without access.

"I care about patients out there and feel sorry for people who can't come in," the Boyne Island-based dentist said.

His new clinic will service patients in places like Monto, Biloela, Mt Larcom and Agnes Water.

"I'm going to work weekends and nights and try to get to rural areas during the week," Dr Vennard said.

The dentist said he specialised in giving patients anaesthetics in a less painful way.

Topics:  dentist gladstone health



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