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Travelling on a small plane stocked with supplies for visits to remote towns isn't the regular way to get to work.

 

But for dentist Shan Alizadeh and dental assistant Tori Campbell, it's a reality of being in the Royal Flying Doctors Service (RFDS).

 

Dr Alizadeh is one of the dental technicians dropped off at remote clinics in the state's far west region.

 

Dentist Shan Alizadeh at the Collarenebri

Dentist Shan Alizadeh at the Collarenebri

 

"We provide basic community dental. 80 per cent of our work is x-rays, cleans, fillings, root canal and extractions," Dr Alizadeh said.

 

In Collarenebri, the RFDS offers dental care to the town of less than 3,000 people.

 

"People travel up to 100km in the Collie (Collarenebri) catchment to come to the clinic. We’re here to service everyone.

 

"If we weren't here, people have to travel to the next regional town and sometimes that's Dubbo (350km away)."

Collarenebri's location on Google Maps.

Dr Alizadeh said while travelling is a way of life for people in outback NSW, her patients are always grateful.

 

"They are happy we're here to get them out of trouble," she said.

 

Originally from Sydney, Dr Alizadeh is now based in Dubbo, where the RFDS is also based.

 

Dr Alizadeh with dental assistant Tori Campbell

Dr Alizadeh with dental assistant Tori Campbell

 

"It's rewarding work. This is such a vital service. It's nice to know we can do it for one another. It makes me proud to be Australian and to know we lend a hand to help each other," Dr Alizadeh said.

 

As with all jobs, there are some trials.

 

"Education is our biggest hurdle. Our challenge is to get prevention-oriented health care in the community.

 

"It's better for people not to wait for pain to come on because it normally means something is more advanced."

 

Collarenebri Multi-Purpose Health Service located 350km from Dubbo

Collarenebri Multi-Purpose Health Service located 350km from Dubbo

 

Twenty-year-old Tori of Dubbo said she was often touched seeing the enthusiasm of young children coming to clinic.

 

"It's heart-warming sometimes. One little boy walked himself here in 47 degree heat," Tori said.

 

The Department’s Draft Far West Regional Plan recognises that health services in the far west region need to be tailored to meet the needs of remote communities, including Aboriginal communities, people with a disability, young people and families.

 

Dr Alizadeh with a patient at Collarenebri Multi-Purpose Health Service

Dr Alizadeh with a patient at Collarenebri Multi-Purpose Health Service

 

Opportunities exist in Broken Hill, Bourke and Cobar to leverage investment in existing public health facilities to provide complimentary health services that meet the needs of the community.

 

View the Far West Regional Plan here.

 

Staff loading a RFDS plane

Staff loading a RFDS plane

Far West Regional Plan

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