Dental clinic closes without warning

DENTAL patients have received an official apology after Mount Morgan’s only dental clinic was closed without warning this week.

The clinic, which normally operates two days a week at the town’s hospital, will be locked shut again next week after failing to open as scheduled last Monday.

Patients who turned up for appointments found only a note on the door and David Hunt, whose wife Annette was one of the patients stranded without care, was fuming at the way they had been treated.

“My wife is an invalid pensioner in desperate need of a new plate. She’s been waiting a long time and her condition is uncomfortable to say the least,” he said.

“I am annoyed that there was no effort to contact her to let us know the clinic had been closed, or to make another appointment. Now she faces weeks of discomfort and has no idea when she will be seen.”

He said one patient who arrived at the clinic on Monday morning had driven in from Gladstone.

Shadow Health Minister Mark McArdle joined the condemnation yesterday.

He said the closure showed the contempt Queensland Health had for patients in rural and regional Australia.

“There are incredible gaps in the state’s dental service and the government seems bereft of understanding as to how much suffering there is in communities because the system is so badly run,” he said. “The people of Mount Morgan have been treated with shoddy contempt.”

In a statement Rod Hutcheon, the manager of oral health services for the Central Queensland Health District, apologised for the inconvenience and said it was regrettable that staff sick leave, annual leave and professional development had coincided unexpectedly to affect service delivery.

“On Monday the dentist called in sick. Mount Morgan Hospital staff tried their best to contact those people with appointments, however some patients were unable to be contacted,” he said.

The clinic would also be closed next week, he said, before reopening Monday, November 23.



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