As a consequence of the struggle to retain the Bulahdelah Hospital in 2012, Bulahdelah is to get its first Dentist.
Dr. Peter Hubbard of “Dental on Beaumont” is to open a Bulahdelah practice in January 2015.
Dr Hubbard comes to Bulahdelah, already having two well-established practices in Newcastle.
His hopes for the district, is to provide easy access for the people of Bulahdelah and surrounding areas to establish programmes for ongoing dental health improvement.
It is also an objective, to initiate a programme in co-operation with the schools, the parents and the Bulahdelah Health Committee, for a youth dental programme to be established.
The obtaining of a dentist for the district is in no short measure due to the work of representatives of the Bulahdelah Community Health Care Committee (BCHCC), established by the community led by Anne-Marie Barry and Chaired by Laurie
Hogan, in 2012, which worked actively to retain hospital services for the people of the district.
While the Committee was unable to retain all the hospital services desired, it nevertheless was successful in ensuring that hospital hours were extended beyond those initially planned and that doctors would be available to meet the community needs.
In its last act, the BCHCC, asked Garry Haynes and Chris Harvey to continue to pursue the initiative already established, of seeking to obtain a dentist for the town, with the aim of utilising the previous doctors surgery building.
It was also determined that Garry Haynes and Chris Harvey accept membership of the Bulahdelah Health Committee, established by the Hunter New England Health and continue through this body to support Bulahdelah’s ongoing health needs.
Chris Harvey, said that the dentist surgery will ensure that people from Tea Gardens, Wooten, and other regional centres, will no longer be required to travel to Taree and Newcastle, with the incumbent travel costs, associated with dental needs.
Chris advises that although no firm decisions have yet been made, it is expected that there will be some employment opportunities, for those interested in dental assistant and reception activities.
An extension of the practice activities may see opportunities for those seeking training in these areas of employment.
Chris said that in discussions with Peter Hubbard, he had been advised that initially one room will be equipped as a surgery, with the option of a second surgery room available if the town supports the practice and needs dictate.
Peter Hubbard currently has three dentists in his practices and initially it is proposed, that one of them will visit Bulahdelah on a regular basis, to develop the services.
If the practice expands as hoped then the days will be increased as necessary.
Chris Harvey said, “Its now all up to the People of Bulahdelah and surrounding districts, to make this initiative a successful one.”