Dental School – Charles Sturt University

A new School of Dentistry and Oral Health will be established at Charles Sturt University, NSW, to allow dentistry students to train and practise dentistry in rural areas.

Page last updated: 08 May 2007

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Why is this important?

  • Australians in rural and remote areas have limited access to dental care. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare data from 2000 shows that access to dental services in capital cities is around 56 dentists per 100,000 people. However, rural areas have a much lower level of access to services, with around 31 dentists per 100,000 people.
  • A new School of Dentistry and Oral Health will be established at Charles Sturt University, NSW. It will be a focal point in Australia for students wishing to train and practise dentistry in rural areas, as it will be rolled out over five regional sites.

Who will benefit?

  • People with an interest in rural dental practice will now have the choice of undertaking and completing their training in regional NSW.
  • The measure will expand dental training and public dental service provision in regional Australia. The new dental training program will include delivering services to public patients at several regional locations.
  • Funding will be provided to Charles Sturt University to construct pre-clinical and clinical facilities in Orange and Wagga Wagga and three dental education clinics in Albury, Bathurst and Dubbo. The 240 new training places for dental and oral health students will be available over five years.

What funding is the Government committing to this initiative?

  • The Government has committed $65.1 million over four years (inclusive of DEST funding) to this initiative.
  • An upfront capital investment of $58.5 million will be made along with recurrent funding for university dental and oral health places, including $4.0 million for student accommodation support. Additional funding for university places is provided through the Department of Education, Science and Training (DEST) at $6.6 million over four years.

What have we done in the past?

  • Through its commitment to university funding the Government already funds dental school places. This measure is a significant expansion to the current numbers of students, plus capital investment.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • This is an ongoing initiative.

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