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New Waikato Mobile Dental Clinic Heads South To Christchurch To Help Out

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
New Waikato Mobile Dental Clinic Heads South To Christchurch To Help Out

One of Waikato District Health Board's nine mobile dental clinics heads south to Christchurch later this week for three months to provide cover while repairs resulting from last month's earthquake are made to Canterbury DHB's hospital dental department.

While the request will affect Waikato's productivity for certain schools, the request got sign off from Health Waikato chief operating officer Jan Adams and the Health Waikato Advisory Committee last week.

The two chair mobile unit is getting decked out by Hamilton manufacturer Action Motor Bodies and decals with Waikato livery attached, before it heads south.

Action Motor Bodies is manufacturing 108 mobile dental clinics at its Te Rapa workshop by the end of 2012 for DHBs throughout the country as part of the major revamp of community and school dental services.

Nine of the clinics are for Waikato, with two already on the road and a third blessed earlier this month for the eastern Coromandel area.

The mobile clinics are part of an $11 million overhaul for the Waikato DHB dental service that will bring the total number of mobile clinics to 15, and see six new fixed clinics being built around the region as well as refurbishment of an existing clinic and ward at Tokoroa Hospital.

Mrs Adams told HWAC the project continues to make progress, with the building of the mobile units on target and the fixed clinic-building programme also progressing to plan. "Staff numbers are slowly increasing and the outputs of the service are improving although still behind the planned business case numbers. These will not be reached until all clinics are operational," she said.

There are two types of mobile clinics, assessment or treatment, and two sizes, one and two chair.

Some are towed, some are driveable but each purpose built mobile clinic takes a month to build which is equivalent to 3000 working hours by a range of staff including welders, cabinet makers and coach builders.

Action Motor Bodies have a good reputation for quality workmanship with ambulances, holiday homes, display vans and quite recently, a mobile director's unit for Peter Jackson.

Background information Waikato DHB announced a major overhaul to its Community Dental Service in 2009 after it found that all of the 78 school-owned dental clinics it staffed needed replacing or refurbishment to comply with new legislation.

New fixed clinics will be located at: Cambridge Middle School, work to start April Morrinsville Primary School, work to start late March Peachgrove Intermediate, work to start July Firth Primary School, Matamata - work is underway, to be complete mid-April Frankton Primary School, work is underway, to be complete in May Fairfield Intermediate, work to start April

Refurbishment work at Crawshaw School (Hamilton) will allow treatment to continue in their school-owned clinic, and a Tokoroa Hospital ward will be an eighth clinic.

All fixed and mobile clinics will be complete by the end of the year.

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