Dental funding hopes for Royal Flying Doctors Service
THE Royal Flying Doctor Service is hoping to tap into the Federal Government's $4.1 billion dental package unveiled this week to help fund a remote Queensland mobile dental service that could be launched before year's end.
The Queensland division of the RFDS has received just over $1 million in funding through the federal Health and Hospital Fund to launch a pilot mobile dental service in remote regions.
A route for the pilot project is expected to be announced in the coming months and the RFDS has already begun hiring dentists, oral health therapists and dental assistants.
But ongoing sustainable funding is needed to ensure the service can continue to be viable beyond the trial phase, Queensland chief executive Nino Di Marco said.
He said the organisation would investigate ways to access funding through the federal dental package to develop dental programs for communities in rural and remote areas of Queensland.
“While details are to be developed, government recognition and commitment to addressing oral health needs in remote and rural communities is most welcome,” Mr Di Marco said.
Mr Di Marco said RFDS doctors had been pushing for dental services to be delivered to remote parts of the state because many of the patients they treated did not travel to see a dentist until it was an urgent problem.
“They reality is often they don’t do anything until the problem is too big,” he said.
“It’s a hidden issue because people just deal with it.”
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