Taking clinics to the patients


Southern papers have had several stories about the closure of school dental clinics.

Teachers complained that children would be out of class for longer if they had to travel to get to a central clinic.

Parents complained about the difficulty of getting children to the clinics during work hours.

Both problems could be solved by mobile dental clinics which are being built for district health boards.

Taking the clinic to the children rather than having to take children to the clinic sounds like a good idea.

It’s a similar idea to the mobile surgical bus.

It’s been operating – in both senses of the word – throughout New Zealand for several years. It enables people in towns whose hospitals no longer have operating theatres to get surgery close to home.

The ‘bus’ is a 20-metre long, 39 tonne mobile operating theatre built in Rotorua. It cost $5.2 million and was privately funded. The ‘bus’ carries $1 million worth of video communications equipment.

It treated its 10,000 patient while on a scheduled stop in Oamaru on May 27 this year.

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