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Smiles all round at Ingham’s debut dental list

Published:  16 December 2020

Ingham is poised to become a hub for oral health surgery across North Queensland after running it’s first public dental list in operating theatres yesterday.

The new service means that adults with complex needs, and eligible children, will be able to undergo dental care under anaesthesia without having to travel to Townsville.

Ingham Health Service dental officer Dr Brittany Burberry said it was a huge breakthrough for the team to offer the service locally.

“The biggest thing is that we currently have no one waiting for this care in Ingham because we saw them yesterday,” she said.

“The feedback we had from our patients yesterday was just overwhelming.
“They were just so excited to be able to get everything they needed done in a single day at their local hospital.”

Acting Ingham Health Service medical superintendent Dr Emily Vagg said there was an opportunity to further grow the surgical offerings available at Ingham.

Ingham has two operating theatres; one used predominately for maternity and women’s health surgeries and the other for endoscopies.

“The new dental list represents a fantastic opportunity for our theatre team to utilise their specialist skills in the operative environment,” she said.

“We’ve got an excellent and modern operating theatre complex here in Ingham and every time we add a service like this, we build our capability to do more.

“The long-term goal here is to build our capacity so that we don’t just look after our town but people from Townsville or Palm Island may be able to have their surgeries done here.”

Townsville Hospital and Health Service chief operating officer Stephen Eaton said a key priority was to expand the capability of surgical services at regional hospitals in Ingham, Charters Towers and Ayr.

“It is so exciting to see Ingham deliver the list yesterday because it shows that there is the skills, capability and capacity to expand our surgical offerings at our other hospitals,” he said.

“Not only does it mean the world for people to access care close to home it represents a significant opportunity for people across our region to travel to our smaller towns for their surgical care.

“Yesterday marked a great achievement for our health service and a real win for the Ingham community.”

Ingham Health Service anticipates it will run between three and four dental lists a year with the next scheduled in February 2021.

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