The RFDS in TAS
The Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) Tasmania provides outreach services to improve the health outcomes of people living and working in rural and remote Tasmania who are disproportionately affected by problems associated with poor oral health.
Studies have shown the direct correlation between oral health and avoidable illness. People living in remote and rural locations experience several barriers accessing oral health services that their major city counterparts do not.
Through funding support by the Commonwealth Government, RFDS Tasmania provides a dental outreach program that assists by providing education, preventative and dental treatments for children and eligible adults in remote areas of Tasmania.
With dental conditions being the leading cause of potentially preventable hospitalisations in Tasmania, as of May 2017 RFDS Tasmania implemented our inaugural dental teams to travel to communities across Tasmania to address the unmet dental needs of children and adults.
After two years on the ground, working with communities we now better understand the need as our two dental teams have been inundated with dental visits.
Mobile Dental Vehicle
The overwhelming attendance and support of our school-based dental program has motivated RFDS Tasmania to investigate the feasibility of having a full range of dental equipment in a purpose built, self-sufficient mobile dental vehicle. This will allow staff to increase the number of patients treated and provide an enhanced range of dental treatments.
We are currently in the planning and development phase - the design includes a dental treatment area (e.g. dental chair and equipment, x-ray facilities), and a clinical area fitted with dental instruments and consumable items. The mobile dental vehicle will also have a fitted sterilisation area for the reprocessing of dental instruments.
This mobile facility will greatly enhance dental treatments and provide a safe working environment for patients and staff, adhering to infection control standards and eliminating WH&S issues staff face under the current model with the constant moving of dental equipment. The mobile dental vehicle will also allow the dental team to reach areas of greater distance than our current program allows.
Our dental program is run in collaboration with local service providers to complement current programs delivered by Oral Health Services Tasmania, the Education Department and the Australian Dental Association (ADA).
The mobile dental vehicle will allow our dental teams to treat patients and in many cases return a quality of life they have not experienced for some time.
With a total chassis + fit-out cost of $350,000 this is one of the biggest projects undertaken by Royal Flying Doctor Service Tasmania, and we need your help to make it happen. We invite expressions of interest from corporate sponsors wanting to co-brand and travel around the state with us.
If you'd like to find out how you can support us to purchase the Mobile Dental Vehicle, please contact:
Nicole Henty, Manager Mobile Dental Care, on 0419 423 726 or Julie Shelton at RFDS Tas Hobart office on 0417 211 847
Graphic: Countryside Landscape
Partnering with Indigenous Groups
RFDS Tasmania are building partnerships and one recent collaboration is with the Circular Head Aboriginal Corp (CHAC) in Smithton to treat local Tasmanian Aboriginals and community members in a culturally aware environment by addressing their unmet dental needs.
Through funding support from the Commonwealth Government, the Royal Flying Doctor Service is addressing the issue to either continue and build on current dental program or in the case of Tasmania, has enabled us to implement a Mobile Dental Care program to bring dental teams to under-served remote and rural Tasmanian communities to tackle the disparity that exists with urban and remote communities. Our dental program is run in collaboration with local service providers to compliment current programs and Oral Health Services Tasmania and the Australian Dental Association (ADA).
Here in Tasmania the newly established RFDS Tasmania Mobile Dental Care could visit you at your school or early learning centre to offer preventative screenings, oral health promotion and treatment. The outreach program is offered in a flexible service structure and delivered in rural and remote communities across the state. We are also able to provide dental treatments in a fixed clinic environment within your local communities.
Who is eligible for treatment in the Flying Doctor Dental Clinic?
Children 0 – 18 years and Adults aged 18 years and over, who hold a Health Care card
To make an appointment or to find out more information about the Mobile Dental Care program visiting your school or communities
please contact the Flying Doctor Mobile Dental team on (03) 6779 1480 or firstname.lastname@example.org