Dentists set to bulk bill
LISMORE is set to get a bulk-billing dental clinic staffed by up to five dentists and aimed at a huge number of people who find it difficult to afford dental treatment.
The Meridian Health Centre in Rous Rd, Goonellabah will be home to the dental surgery as part of a $7million contract awarded to the Meridian Health Care to run a new GP Super Clinic.
The centre's general manager Joe Rutyna said he hoped the super-clinic, complete with dental surgery, would open in late July or early August but the company was waiting for the final go-ahead from the Federal Government.
"We are putting in a five-chair dental facility here because it's an area that is under-served," said Mr Rutyna.
"We are looking at those people who can't afford to go to other dentists, those who can be bulk-billed and those on a care plan (for chronic illness that affects dental health).
"We will also see private patients.
"The reason behind it is obviously access to dentists is difficult in this area.
"We are just trying to add to the resources."
Mr Rutyna said estimating the opening date at this stage was like asking "how long is a piece of string" because the company was waiting on government red tape.
But he added: "It looks like the end of July or early August."
He said the refurbishment of the existing Meridian Health Centre would take three to four months once the company got the government green light.
In December, Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon announced she had awarded a $7million contract for a $7million "super-clinic" contract to Brisbane-based Meridian Health Care, which runs Rous Rd medical centre.