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The Independent Voice of
Central West Queensland since 1923
Central West Queensland
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18 May, 2020

New clinic to sink your teeth into

PREVIOUSLY suspended oral health appointments are resuming in the Central West following changes to national directions.


Services resume, patients happy…Longreach resident, Pamela Tanks (right) with CWHHS Dental Officer, Dr Lewis Ferguson.

Appointments were suspended in early April in line with directions from the National Cabinet, causing health services across Australia to reschedule non-urgent elective surgery and focus on emergency surgery during the current coronavirus pandemic.

Central West Hospital and Health Service (CWHHS) General Manager Acute Health Services, Craig Carey, said suspended procedures that were resuming included fillings and denture works, with extra precautions designed to protect staff and patients to remain in place at dental clinics across the Central West.

“Oral health clients who previously had procedures postponed will be contacted, and advised, of the resumption of some services and have new appointments scheduled where appropriate,” Mr Carey said.

“We apologise for any inconvenience caused during the time some services were suspended and ask for people’s understanding that these are extraordinary times and we need to get through them safely and together.”

Mr Carey said CWHSS will now be able to make use of their new dental clinic at Longreach Hospital, with dental services being delivered from an external mobile clinic while refurbishments to the main hospital were undertaken.

“As part of the progressive resumption of non-urgent services, we will also be able to fully utilise our brand-new dental clinic at Longreach Hospital,” Mr Carey said. “It’s a larger clinic that will be able to deliver additional services and has been expanded from one to two treatment chairs.

“As well as two treatment rooms, each with their own chairs, each room will also have its own x-ray machine. The treatment rooms are also designed with pass-through cabinets for ease of access to centrally located sterile instruments.

“We have also removed all the old cabinetry in the previous single-treatment room and replaced it with entirely new cabinetry,” Mr Carey continued.

“I would like to thank Longreach residents for their patience while we delivered services from our mobile clinic and welcome them to our brand-new, state-of-the-art clinic.”

Longreach resident, Pamela Tanks, was the first patient to be treated in the new dental clinic on Monday, May 11.

She was originally scheduled to have her non-urgent procedure in the weeks prior, but had it postponed due to the nationally-directed suspension of non-urgent oral health and elective surgery services.

“I’m quite excited to be the first patient,” Miss Tanks said. “I think we are so fortunate to have a dental unit and health care services available close to home.

“Having this newly developed dental clinic room with equipment that is new and additional to the previous one will be great,” Miss Tanks continued.

“Sitting in a waiting room inside the building will also be more comfortable and private.”


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