Plan to open 20 new dental clinics

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Daisy

The Primary Healthcare Corporation (PHCC) plans to open 20 new dental clinics at new primary health centres across the country to address public complaints about a shortage of such facilities.

Dr Asma Othman Alkhatib, Head, Health education, Corporate Communications and PR Department, PHCC, told a press conference yesterday that the new clinics are expected to reduce pressure on existing facilities and waiting time for patients.

Dr Arwa Tayyem and Dr Hebah Adnan AbuHalawah of PHCC were present. 

Alkhatib said high fees at private dental clinics are among the factors forcing many people to seek treatment at PHCC clinics. 

The press conference was held to announce details of GCC Oral Health Week from March 25 to 31. Last year, 250,167 patients from different age groups visited PHCC dental clinics, with an average of 20,000 every month. Currently, PHCC operates 53 dental clinics at health centres, with 113 dentists.

PHCC also has exclusive dental clinics for primary schoolchildren in Mesaimeer, Daain and Abu Backer Siddiqe health centres.

Last academic year, compulsory oral check-up was introduced for Independent school students in the age group 6-13. GCC Oral Health Week will feature activities to raise awareness about oral health with a focus on children. Lectures will be held for visitors at health centres, and dental,  diabetes and gynaecology clinics.

Most health centres will organise events at schools and KGs in their areas. There will also be workshops on oral health, risks of smoking and use of tobacco derivatives. Activities will be held for children with special needs in collaboration with Best Buddies and Shafallah Centre.

The week aims to develop unified GCC models to promote oral health and fight related diseases.

A survey in Qatar in 2011 found that 90 percent of children brush teeth at least once a day but 89 percent under four years have teeth ailments. Over 60 percent of children were found to be consuming unhealthy food such as biscuits, chocolates and chips that create a favourable environment for bacteria to grow and damage the teeth.

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