UQ offers more free dental care in new alliance

10 Jan 2017
The UQ Oral Health Centre at Herston

The University of Queensland will help deliver more free public dental care thanks to a new partnership with the State Government.

The alliance between UQ and Metro North Hospital and Health Service (MNHHS) will give an extra 8000 eligible public patients with access to dental treatment at the Oral Health Centre in Herston.

UQ Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences Executive Dean Professor Bruce Abernethy said the alliance was an integrated operation that would begin with the amalgamation of UQ and MNHHS teaching, research and clinical activities at the Oral Health Centre in January 2017. 

“UQ will be responsible for the academic function of the alliance, providing evidence-based teaching and clinically focused research, while Metro North will be responsible for clinical service delivery and clinical supervision of students,” Professor Abernethy said.

“Brisbane Dental Hospital will be relocated in a staged fashion from its current Turbot Street location to our state-of-the-art facility in the Herston Health Precinct throughout the year.”

UQ Head of Dentistry Professor Pauline Ford said the partnership was another opportunity for dental students to improve the quality of life of those in need.

“Our students are committed to providing healthcare to those who require it most,” Professor Ford said.

“Research assistant and oral health therapist Nicole Cockburn organised Dental Rescue Week for youth experiencing homelessness earlier this year, and our existing partnership with Ozcare gives free dental care to men in South Brisbane hostels.”

Professor Ford has spent much of her professional life researching and enhancing dental care for the disadvantaged.

“Both personally and professionally, I am proud to announce that one of the main tenets of the alliance is the focus on providing dental treatment for the Brisbane North area’s most vulnerable population,” Professor Ford said.

The model for the alliance is comparable to arrangements in other states, such as the Westmead Centre for Oral Health (University of Sydney), The Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne (University of Melbourne), and the Adelaide Dental Hospital (University of Adelaide).

Media: Loretta Porche at UQ Communications, l.porche@uq.edu.au, +61 3346 3032.