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News Bulletin : ADA News Bulletin August 2010
31 AUGUST 2010 People living in Gippsland currently face an 11 month wait before they can access dental treatment -- just over a year ago, they were waiting three years. Despite the significant reduction in waiting times, Gippsland still needs more dentists to meet its current and future demand for dental services. In September 2009, Latrobe Community Health Services (LCHS) launched Dentalgaps.com.au, a website recruitment portal dedicated to connecting dentists and oral health practitioners with employment opportunities in Gippsland. Funded by the Victorian Government, the initiative was implemented by the Gippsland Oral Health Consortium and led by Latrobe Community Health Services (LCHS) to improve access to dental services for all who live in the Gippsland region. It was through Dentalgaps that Minh Thuy Le, a recent Melbourne University graduate, found an opportunity to work at LCHS. Having conducted a study placement in Gippsland in 2009, Minh was keen to return to the region. She came across the Dentalgaps.com.au website when she 'Googled' for dental jobs and LCHS. Six weeks into her new role as an Oral Health Therapist, Minh says she enjoys the environment and the people but most of all, she is pleased to be able to make a difference to the lives of her patients. Minh's work places a high emphasis on prevention and dental hygiene education, as this will reduce the treatment required by her patients. She says the work is challenging but ultimately rewarding. "We see children as young as three who haven't had a check up, it is a good feeling to know that I can play a positive role in those children's future health," Minh said. Minh is keen to stay with LCHS and the flexibility and variety of employment it offers. Another Melbourne University graduate, Michelle Niazmand agrees that working in Gippsland can be a rewarding experience. Michelle completed clinical placements in Moe as part of her studies. She works in both public and private practices and two out of five days are spent in Gippsland. Michelle says while she enjoys the scenic drive from Melbourne to Moe and Warragul, she considers being able to assist patient families the most important aspect of her appointment at LCHS. "Being able to help young children in the paediatric dental service who would otherwise not receive dental care is very important. Seeing children keep their teeth well past their teenage years and teaching parents to feel informed and in control of their children's health and well- being is by far, the most rewarding aspect of my work," says Michelle. Michelle is keen to stay in Gippsland long- term and already has plans to build a house in the area. "I have found such a wonderful and peaceful place and it is not as far from the inner suburbs as everyone thinks it is. Most importantly, this job is one I consider to be very rewarding. I look forward to many years of working here," says Michelle. DENTALGAPS -- HELPING IMPROVE DENTAL SERVICES IN GIPPSLAND ADVERTISEMENT
ADA News Bulletin September 2010