Dental patients are set to benefit from the addition of 10 dental students and two graduate dentists to the Mackay and Proserpine dental clinics.
Director of Oral Health Dr Ronel Bornman said Mackay offered students valuable training experience within the public health system over five months in partnership with James Cook University.
“Since 2013, the collaborative approach has ensured dental students are faced with real-world dental procedures and emergency situations during the clinically supervised placements,” Dr Bornman said.
“Students are supported by senior dental staff at each oral health facility where they will be trained to treat medically compromised patients and patients with different medical conditions.
“An equally important aspect which students learn is how to manage large volumes of patients.”
Dr Bornman said she was impressed with the students’ enthusiastic start and commitment to providing healthcare in regional areas.
“Students very quickly realise the importance of skilled public health professionals and delivering high quality health outcomes for our communities,” she said.
“The addition of dental students has proven to dramatically reduce wait times for public health patients and those who need it most.”
Two newly qualified dentists have been appointed as full-time dentists at the Mackay and Proserpine oral health facilities.
Mackay local Mark Bico secured one of the positions and said he was thrilled to be working with Mackay Base Hospital’s dental clinic.
“As a new graduate, the position is everything I could have wished for. Being able to stay in Mackay and work with such as supportive team has been important to me both professionally and personally,” Dr Bico said.
Growing up in the Philippines where public health is scarce, Dr Bico moved with his family to Mackay aged 11 and completed his secondary education at Mackay State High School.
“I believe healthcare should be accessible to all. Working in public health brings me joy because I know I am giving back to my community.”
Last year the MHHS dental clinics provided more than 40,000 appointments to patients in Mackay and surrounding regions.