SOUTH West Healthcare (SWH) is to open a public dental service in Camperdown by the end of this year.
The service will be established with a portable building formerly used by the Warrnambool public dental service.
The portable building will be relocated to SWH’s Manifold Place community health centre in Camperdown’s main street.
The public dental service will be a boost for people in Corangamite area who now travel to Warrnambool or Colac.
SWH’s primary, community and regional services director Craig Fraser expects strong demand for the service.
Mr Fraser said the Camperdown clinic would be staffed on rotation out of Warrnambool with both new and existing dental services staff.
SWH’s dental services staff will be boosted by four — a dentist, an oral therapist and two dental assistants — to handle the demands of both the Warrnambool and new Camperdown clinic.
Establishing the Camperdown service will be funded mainly with $535,000 from the federal Department of Health and Ageing with the state government managing the service.
A SWH spokeswoman said the educational project management organisation AITEC had been crucial in getting the Camperdown service.
AITEC manages the Voluntary Dental Graduate Year Program (VDGYP) and provided significant assistance with a successful funding application for the service to the federal Department of Health and Ageing.
The opening of the Camperdown clinic will give the VDGYP the ability to place new dental graduates among the pool of Warrnambool-based staff who will work at the new clinic.
The federal funding will pay the wages of dental graduates, both dentists and the oral health therapists, cover the relocation of the building as well as funding redevelopment of the main reception and waiting room at Manifold Place.
The project will also involve the installation of street-front automatic sliding doors and disability-ramp access at Manifold Place and upgrading of the main building’s electrical and communications systems after the dental clinic building has been relocated.
Video conferencing facilities will be installed for staff training and supervision.
SWH’s dental services director Dr Donna Mercado is overseeing the project and Mr Fraser has also been closely involved.
SWH has called tenders to transport the portable building along the Princes Highway from Ryot Street in Warrnambool to Manifold Street in Camperdown.
The portable building became available after Warrnambool’s public health service moved from Ryot Street to SWH’s new community health centre on Koroit Street in November last year.