Residents of Far North Queensland can once again show off their pearly whites thanks to a dentist ‘substi-tooth’ program led by Metro South Community and Oral Health (MSCOH).
Acting Director MSCOH Dr Sumit Sachdeva said rural and remote areas of Australia were struggling to attract dental professionals, leaving gaps in oral health services.
Dr Sachdeva said when MSCOH learned of the dilemma they jumped at the chance to ‘fill’ the vacancies utilising Metro South dentists.
“In the last six months, Metro South has assisted North West and Torres and Cape Hospital and Health Services by sending a dentist to Mt Isa, Thursday Island and Weipa for short stints,” he said.
Dr Sachdeva said the dentist exchange initiative had strengthened Metro South’s relationship with other Hospital and Health Services across the state and provided consumers with more accessible oral health care.
Beaudesert-based dentist Dr Praveen Liyanawadu recently returned from a stint in Mt Isa and said he thoroughly enjoyed all the Gulf Country region had to offer.
“The team at Mt Isa is extremely lovely and welcoming - there wasn’t a moment where I felt lost,” he said.
When he wasn’t in theatre treating children and performing multiple pulpotomy’s and crown procedures, Dr Liyanawade said he enjoyed exploring the area, hiking and visiting waterholes.
MSCOH is now hoping to expand the program to include Townsville Hospital and Health Service which has also been impacted by a workforce shortage.