Northern New South Wales communities and Griffith University dentistry and oral health students will benefit from the new Tweed Dental Clinic.
Based at The Tweed Hospital, the $2.4 million facility was officially opened today (April 16) by the NSW Minister for Health and Medical Research, The Honourable Mrs Jillian Skinner MP.
A collaborative effort between the Federal Government, NSW Government and Griffith University, the state-of-the-art clinic features 10 new dental chairs, four for Griffith students and six for general public health services.
From April 28, a cohort of four fifth-year students from Griffith’s School of Dentistry and Oral Health will be the first to train at the clinic. Each year there will be four rotations of groups of up to eight students engaged in nine-week training stints.
“It’s going to be a great opportunity to experience training and service outside the university environment. It will give us all an idea of what life as a full-time dentist will really be like,” said student AJ Jalota.
Mrs Skinner said the Tweed Dental Clinic was a prime example of what could be achieved through a collaborative commitment to improving public access to health services.
“Oral health is not a luxury; it is a priority. Its importance with regard to the good health of the rest of the human body cannot be understated,” Mrs Skinner said.
“A lot of effort has gone into public dental health policy and this facility represents integrated care at its best.”
Pro Vice Chancellor (Griffith Health) Professor Allan Cripps said the new clinic was an important step in regional dental service delivery and student education.
“Griffith University has strong links with Northern NSW and this hospital in particular,” Professor Cripps said.
“As well as being involved with the Tweed Clinical Education and Research Institute, with the opening of this new facility it is exciting to think how many Griffith students from this region will return and work here after being trained by such fantastic clinicians with such excellent facilities.”
Other guests at today’s opening included NSW Minister for Mental Health and Healthy Lifestyles, Mr Kevin Humphries; National Party MP for the federal seat of Page, Mr Kevin Hogan; National Party MP for the NSW seat of Tweed, Mr Geoff Provest; the Mayor of Tweed Shire, Mr Barry Longland; and the Chair of the Northern NSW Local Health District, Dr Brian Pezzutti.