Refurbished Akaroa Dental Clinic To Officially Open
The refurbished Akaroa Dental Clinic will officially be reopened this Wednesday 19 November. The revamped community dental clinic is the first stage of a $13.3 million upgrade of Canterbury District Health Board’s Community Dental Service.
The clinic was moved from the old Akaroa Primary School site to the Akaroa Area School in Selwyn Avenue and has been gutted, renovated and refurbished with the latest equipment. Community Dental Service Clinical Director Dr Martin Lee says, “It’s a very significant makeover; it’s unrecognisable from the inside.”
Dental Therapist Elizabeth Haycock has worked at the Akaroa Dental Clinic since 1975 and is thrilled with the refurbishment. “I really admire the architect, being able to take an old building and modernise it. It’s fabulous and has the latest equipment.” The revamp is part of an overall three-year upgrade of the Community Dental Service, which will see most of the current 120 school dental clinics replaced by 12 “multichair” community clinics, supported by 18 mobile clinics. Akaroa Dental Clinic, along with Kaikoura Dental Clinic, will be the only two existing sites to remain.
The first community facility at Ashburton will open next year, and work will begin by mid next year on others at Hillmorton, Kaiapoi and Rangiora. Other clinics will be located at Nga Hau E Wha National Marae, Woolston, Hornby, Burnside, Casebrook and Rolleston. Sites for the clinics were chosen based on the areas with the highest need for dental care and after discussions with schools and other interested parties.
Sixteen of the 18 mobile clinics - which will be in the style of campervans and are expected to be on the road by early next year - will visit the schools in the area from Ashburton to Rangiora. These mobile clinics will see children for check ups. If they need further dental work, such as fillings, children will attend one of 12 community clinics.
The other two mobile clinics will provide a full range of dental treatment for children in rural areas, including the Hurunui district and the area on State Highway 72 from Oxford in North Canterbury to Mayfield in Mid Canterbury.