Metro South’s Oral Health Service and Refugee Health Service have received international recognition for working together to provide refugees faster access to life-changing dental care—receiving a Merit in the Award for Corporate Social Responsibility at the prestigious International Hospital Federation (IHF) Awards this month.
Director of Oral Health Dr Helen Boocock said by introducing an oral health therapist into the Refugee Health Service, newly-arrived refugees received dental treatment at the same time as a comprehensive nursing assessment from a refugee health nurse.
“This joint initiative insures vulnerable community members receive an oral health assessment within 28 days of arrival in Australia, without the need for a separate referral,” she said.
“Follow-up oral health and medical appointments are also coordinated to occur on the same day so that we can reduce the burden of travel for people and their families.”
Refugee Health Service Clinical Nurse Consultant Leeanne Schmidt said oral healthcare was a major focus for newly arrived refugees who may never have received dental treatment.
“The introduction of an oral health therapist to the Refugee Health Service means refugees have faster access to life-changing dental care,” she said.
“We are passionate about oral healthcare for everybody and we are proud to be making a difference for our refugee population.”
Metro South Health also received International Hospital Federation Awards for becoming Australia’s first digital health service and using smartphone technology to boost care for mums-to-be with gestational diabetes.
Dr Ayre congratulated all staff for their vital role in making the health service stand out across the world.
“We have a culture of innovation and so many dedicated, skilled and caring staff members who turn ideas in action,” he said.
“Well done to the award-winning project teams and everyone else across our health service. Your achievements greatly benefit our community and inspire health services around the world.”