Residents of Collinsville and the surrounding areas are encouraged to book an appointment with the QCoal Community Dental Service.
Residents of Collinsville and the surrounding areas are encouraged to book an appointment with the QCoal Community Dental Service.

RFDS dental van celebrates 10 year partnership with QCoal

MONDAY marked a significant milestone for QCoal Foundation and Royal Flying Doctor Service (Queensland Section) (RFDS) as they celebrate 10 years of partnership.

The partnership has been responsible for the formation of the RFDS Dental Service, which has delivered more than 15,600 patient visits since inception, more than 900 of which were based in Collinsville.

The RFDS Mobile Dental Unit has been visiting Collinsville on a yearly basis since 2013, providing more than 1858 appointments and in total, just under 10,500 treatments to residents of the region.

Collinsville Community Association service co-ordinator Heather Brown said the service provided their rural community with services that wouldn't be available otherwise.

"The Collinsville and Scottville Community are incredibly grateful for the free dental service that has been provided for community members for over seven years by the QCoal Foundation," she said.

"There are many lifestyle benefits to living in a rural and remote community, but it can be challenging at times accessing services as they just aren't readily available opposed to the bigger cities.

"Every Australian deserves quality support services, but it isn't always easy accessing services within our community. The QCoal Foundation makes accessing dental services easy by bringing it right to our door."

Ms Brown said the community were very appreciative of the "well trained staff and highly functional facilities" that the Royal Flying Doctor Service dental van provided.

"We hope the QCoal Foundation will continue to provide free dental services to our community for many years to come and deeply appreciate the generous support for the Collinsville and Scottville community," she said.

Initially the partnership began between the QCoal Group and the RFDS, and later expanded to include both the QCoal Group and the QCoal Foundation.

Since its inception the dental service, delivered by the RFDS, has provided dental care across Queensland, travelling over 63,000 kilometres to visit 25 rural communities and provided $8.8 million worth of dental care in locations including - Collinsville, Winton, Sapphire, Monto, Dajarra, Camooweal, Cherbourg, Springsure, Jundah, Theodore, Clermont and Richmond.

QCoal Group Managing Director Christopher Wallin said he was very proud of QCoal's

longstanding 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, so in 2010 we became a Principal

Sponsor of the RFDS in Queensland and started talking about ways to assist.

"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


"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 (Queensland Section) CEO Meredith Staib said the partnership was a model the

RFDS aimed 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."

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.

After a temporary suspension due to coronavirus, the service will resume it's Collinsville appointments from August 3 to August 14, and again from August 24 to September 4.