Improving oral health in South Australia
A ceremony to mark the start of construction of the Riverland Oral Health Centre will be held in Berri today.
Funded by the Australian Government’s former Health and Hospitals Fund (Regional Priority Initiative) program, the $6 million centre will provide public dental services for the region’s 11,000 eligible adults and 4000-4500 children under 18, as well as providing essential rural training places for the University of Adelaide’s dental students.
The Riverland Oral Health Centre is co-located with the Riverland General Hospital and expected to be complete towards the end of this year.
The clinic will include 10 dental chairs and x-ray facilities; a special high-speed fibre IT network connection; administration, teaching, study and research areas; and laboratory and sterilisation support facilities.
The centre will be operated by the South Australian Dental Service under the 30-year Dental Education Partnership Agreement between the University of Adelaide and SA Health. This also includes the new 89-chair Adelaide Dental Hospital opening in July 2017 in the University of Adelaide Health and Medical Sciences building, in the city’s West End.
“This new centre at Berri is a key part of our 30-year agreement with the State Government, helping us continue to provide quality dental services to the South Australian community and provide our students with clinical placements into the foreseeable future,” says University of Adelaide Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Warren Bebbington.
“We are proud to be able to offer this essential service of state-of-the-art dental care to the rural communities of South Australia, while providing our students with valuable clinical experience.”
Final-year dentistry students will spend 48 weeks at the clinic on a rotational basis under the supervision of qualified dentists and academic staff.
“This new state-of-the-art centre will ensure people living in the Riverland have access to high-quality dental services close to where they live,” says Mr Geoff Franklin, Executive Director, SA Dental Service.
“It will also provide a strong learning environment that will foster our next generation of dental professionals.
“The Riverland Oral Health Centre is a vital part of our 30 year agreement with the University of Adelaide and I look forward to the Centre improving dental care for people living in the Riverland.”
(Source: The University of Adelaide)