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Increased services to the outback

The Flying Doctor will bring more services to Western and Far Western New South Wales communities to benefit them where additional needs have been identified.

“These health services address some key areas of need including enhanced oral healthcare, mental health services and care for patients within our network following discharge from hospital,” says RFDS SE Section CEO Greg Sam.
The Outback Oral Treatment and Health (TOOTH) program, which was made possible for three years by philanthropic support from the Gonski and Investec foundations, has provided care to almost 5,000 patients since its inception in 2012. Building on the success of this program, the RFDS will deliver a more comprehensive service to the communities of Bourke, Lightning Ridge, and Collarenebri through the placement of additional oral healthcare staff including additional services by a dentist and dental assistant. The Goodooga clinics will continue to be maintained to meet the needs of that community.

The enhanced program aims to reduce the length of time patients are on waiting lists for oral health treatments. Based in Dubbo and Broken Hill, the mental health programs will deliver clinical counselling services to children and adults. From Broken Hill, the areas of Wilcannia, Menindee, Central Darling and the Unincorporated Far West of New South Wales, South Western Queensland and Eastern South Australia will be serviced, as well as the Broken Hill area itself.

From Dubbo, the communities of Bourke, Lightning Ridge, Goodooga, Collarenebri and Brewarrina will be serviced. The programs will be consistent with the aims of the Mental Health Services in Rural and Remote Areas Project. The Post-Hospital Care program is designed to enable patients to return home following discharge from hospital and to be supported through monitoring and assessment in their homes to reduce the potential for readmission to hospital. These new and enhanced programs are made possible through the generosity of RFDS donors and we thank you.

The enhanced program aims to reduce the length of time patients are on waiting lists for oral health treatment.

Photos credited to: Sam Ruttyn, The Sunday Telegraph.

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