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Fun Facts highlight achievements of the RFDS Dental Service

QCoal Foundation has launched a series of Fun Facts on social media to highlight important milestones achieved by the RFDS Dental Service since commencing in 2013.

Oral health is the second most expensive disease group in Australia, costing $8.7 billion annually.  In Australia there are 72 dentists for every 100,000 people in urban areas but this reduces to 23 per 100,000 in rural communities. Rural communities typically experience much higher rates of tooth decay, gum disease and tooth extraction than their urban counterparts, with the prevalence of untreated oral disease directly associated with respiratory, cardiovascular and other chronic diseases.

“When we looked back over the delivery of the Service we were surprised to realise just how far the service has travelled and how many patients across Queensland have been seen by the dental team” remarked QCoal Foundation CEO, Sylvia Bhatia.

To date the dental team has travelled over 63,000km to reach more than 15,000 patients in 25 regional Queensland communities who otherwise wouldn’t have had access to oral healthcare.

“The idea of the fun facts is to highlight the value of the RFDS Dental Service but also the importance of philanthropy in funding the trial of innovative solutions to community challenges” noted Ms Bhatia,

“Because QCoal Foundation was willing to fund the initial trial, the RFDS were able to present government with a substantial body of data to show that the mobile solution resulted in positive patient outcomes while being flexible and cost-effective.”

“This evidence was important in securing Federal Government funding for the long term sustainability of the program”.

The QCoal Foundation operate a social venture model of philanthropy that is based on identifying community need and funding the trial of solutions to address the need.  Data is gathered throughout the trial phase to show the effectiveness of the solution.  Ultimately this data is used to develop a sustainable, long-term funding model so that philanthropic funding can be removed but the solution continues to benefit the community over the long term.  In addition to large, social-venture partnerships, the QCoal Foundation also operates a community grant program targeted at building resilient regional and remote communities through the pillars of health, education and liveability.