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Celebrating a decade of partnership with over 15,000 reasons to smile

In 2020 QCoal and the Royal Flying Doctor Service (Qld Section) will celebrate 10 years of partnership in support of regional and remote Queenslanders.

The RFDS Dental Service, formerly the QCoal Community Dental Service, was born from this partnership and has now delivered over 15,000 appointments since inception.

This Service, delivered by the RFDS, has provided dental care across the length and breadth of Queensland in locations including – Collinsville, Winton, Sapphire, Monto, Dajarra, Camooweal, Cherbourg, Springsure, Jundah, Theodore, Clermont and Richmond.  Since commencing in 2013 the Service has travelled over 63,000 kilometres to visit 25 communities and delivered over $8.8 million in dental care.

The Service is a fully equipped mobile dental surgery featuring state of the art equipment, including an OPG machine (the latest x-ray equipment) operating from a purpose-built 18-wheel semi-trailer.

QCoal Foundation Chair Christopher Wallin said he was very proud of the long-standing relationship with the RFDS.

“If you are going to partner with an organisation in healthcare, it has to be the RFDS,” Mr Wallin said.

“I was aware of the need to provide dental health services to rural and remote Queensland, where people are often a long way from the services they need.  This was not only impacting their dental health but their overall health.

“It’s one thing to have an idea but it was very smart to team up with the RFDS if you are going to be delivering health services in rural and remote Queensland because they are the professionals.

“Overall, the Service has been spectacularly successful and the feedback from communities has been outstanding – I’m very proud that the program has gone even further than we originally envisaged,” Mr Wallin said.

RFDS Qld CEO Meredith Staib said the partnership is a model the RFDS has tried to replicate, not only in Queensland but all over Australia.

“Our model for working together – from Christopher Wallin’s original idea through to the philanthropic support for operational funding and then strong advocacy efforts of both organisations – has established a long-term sustainable health service for rural and regional Queenslanders,” she said.

“The funding from QCoal Foundation allowed us to set up the service, prove the concept of mobile service delivery and now we can take it further – and change the way we deliver other health services to the bush, using that model.

“As partners, we share a common vision to improve the health outcomes of people living in rural and regional communities.  QCoal Foundation has changed the nature of healthcare in rural Queensland and even Australia-wide – it’s an incredible gift that they’ve given,” Ms Staib said.

Learn more about the RFDS Dental Service partnership by watching the video below.