Big boost in dental care

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Nepean Hospital is now home to the state’s third largest oral health centre after the brand new, $8 million clinic was officially opened on Monday morning.

The Nepean Centre for Oral Health will triple the amount of chairs available for general and emergency dental care, which has been earmarked as a strategy to drastically reduce public waiting lists.

The centre was jointly funded by the State and Federal Governments in a $139 million redevelopment of Nepean Hospital.

Associate Professor, Patrick Cregan, Chairman of the Nepean Blue Mountains Local Health District, said that the development was another great step forward for Nepean Hospital.

“Whilst you don’t always want to go to the dentist, it is important to have those facilities there and we very much welcome investment in our area to improve dental health,” he said.

Part of the new oral health centre is a dental laboratory where up to six dental technicians will be accommodated as well as a state of the art training facility for undergraduate and postgraduate dental students.

Federal Health Minister, Tanya Plibersek was joined by State Health Minister, Jillian Skinner, for the official opening of the Oral Health Centre and plaque presentation.

“The Government’s vision is for a world-class Centre for Oral Health and an expanded Nepean Hospital that’s equipped to handle the population growth expected across the Nepean and Blue Mountains areas,” Ms Plibersek said.

Ms Skinner added that after first taking an interest in reducing dental work wait lists in 2002, she is proud that such a facility will reduce wait list numbers.

“This is a major improvement for the hospital and will benefit the residents of western Sydney,” she said.

The Health Ministers also announced a joint agreement to reduce dental wait lists in NSW under a new National Partnership Agreement that will see NSW receive an additional $110.8 million from the Federal Government to reduce waiting lists.

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