No more dentists to fill the gaps

THE lack of dentists at the Warwick Hospital has become a sore point, as those requiring treatment are directed to Toowoomba until a replacement is found.

Two dentists departed the hospital last month and Queensland Health is now preparing to interview for replacements.

Deuchar pensioner Trevor Ives said he and his wife were told they would need to make a trip to Toowoomba if they wanted to receive treatment for a broken tooth.

He said this was a difficult and costly task for many, especially the elderly.

"It is crazy for Warwick to not have a dentist because there are a lot of older people living here who can't drive," he said.

"It's terrible and I can't believe they've let it happen."

Mr Ives said he has used the hospital dental system countless times and could not fault the service.

"I have never had a problem and the staff have always been great," he said.

"But I have a problem with the fact we are in the health minister's territory and we don't have a friggin' dentist."

Mr Ives said although a trip to Toowoomba may seem like an appropriate solution, it was a struggle for those on pensions or low incomes.

"I feel sorry for the families and the single mums who have to try to get an appointment in Toowoomba - they're a lot worse off than us," he said.

Acting regional executive director of rural health Karen Abbott said Toowoomba Hospital would provide a dentist to treat the most urgent cases and others would be treated either at Toowoomba or by other dental staff in Warwick.

"Anyone enquiring about dental treatment is triaged and accommodated at Warwick Dental Clinic with the treating oral health therapists or dental health therapists, or alternatively offered the Toowoomba 1300 number to call," she said.

"We regret the interruption to normal service delivery and look forward to a successful recruitment process."

Topics:  community dentist health queensland health toowoomba warwick hospital

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