Federal minister Simon Crean was in Bathurst last week opening the new Bathurst Community Dental and Oral Health Clinic. The Australian Government has provided $4.7 million towards construction and fit-out of the clinic, which will boost dental services in Bathurst and give dental students the opportunity to develop their skills in a fully functioning dental clinic.
Minister Crean said “For many residents, the new clinic will be the difference between seeing a dentist and not being able to get treatment at all as there has historically been shortage of dentists and oral health workers in the Central West.
“It is an important investment in Bathurst health infrastructure and another step in building the region’s health workforce so that more services and better care can be delivered to residents.
“Patients and families in Bathurst and surrounds will receive better health services as part of the Gillard Government’s ongoing commitment to improving regional and rural health services,” he said.
Minister Crean explained that the clinic includes 10 dental chairs, with eight chairs for use by training dentists (operated by Charles Sturt University) and two for use by private dentists. Importantly, one of the chairs would be used for specialist dental services which have previously not been available in the town.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for dental students to experience Bathurst during their study, and I’m sure many will want to settle here when they graduate,” Mr Crean said.
The clinic will also feature a technology lab, a seminar room which will provide a link to the CSU’s four other dental training facilities, clinical evaluation rooms for patient consultations and sterilisation and office areas.
The Australian Government has provided $58.1 million to Charles Sturt University to bolster community dental services and provide dental training places in regional New South Wales, including at Orange, Wagga, Dubbo, Bathurst and Albury. Construction is now complete at all five sites.
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