Group will try to take a bite out of wait list

ALL Caroline Michell wanted was an appointment at the dentist but now the Gin Gin mother of three is taking her cause much further.

Miss Michell is helping start a dental working group to look into how to prevent the five-year wait for dental care that she has experienced.

The group will be formed to find ways to shorten the dental waiting lists in the Bundaberg region.

Miss Michell, whose teeth are so badly damaged she has trouble eating, has been waiting five years for extensive dental treatment.

“There are so many other people who need the help,” she said about joining the group.

Calls have been flooding in offering help to relieve Miss Michell's agony, including two separate anonymous donations of $1500 since the NewsMail reported her plight on Wednesday.

Member for Burnett Rob Messenger said he had heard from two private dental clinics offering their help.

Mr Messenger said Miss Michell's wait highlighted a need for desperate action to be taken to improve public dental care in the area.

“It's outrageous it has gotten to this,” he said.

Mr Messenger and Member for Bundaberg Jack Dempsey will head the dental working group.

“Initially we want to call on the expertise of health care professionals, people who have had problems - we won't rule out any good idea,” Mr Messenger said.

Mr Messenger said the working group would have its first meeting in the next couple of weeks.

Mr Dempsey said the need for shorter dental waiting lists was universal.

“People's teeth don't wait. It is not just the adults that are affected, it's the young people's teeth as well,” he said.

Mr Dempsey said it was unacceptable people would have to wait longer due to geography.

“We are not asking for anything more than they already get in south east Queensland,” he said.

For more information on the dental working groups telephone Jack Dempsey or Rob Messenger's offices on 4152 1476 or 4159 1988 .

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