• Features
  • The Good Shepherd Medical and Dental Centre

    07 Mar, 2013 12:38 PM
    DENTIST Dr Akram Youssef has practised in Port Macquarie for just three weeks – but already he has his teeth into the job. The “cousin-in-law” of The Good Shepherd Medical & Dental Centre owner Dr Cherif

    Meena presently works seven days a week from the Jindalee Rd practice. With the assistance of dental

    hygienists Sharnee Chapman and Carly Austin, the

    Egyptian-born dentist of 18 years has local youngsters’

    mouths, especially, in his sights. Dr Youssef, who recently moved from a practice at Wagga

    Wagga in the NSW Riverina, believes children’s oral health

    has suffered because fluoride was introduced into

    Hastings drinking water only last year. Fluoride has been in Wagga Wagga drinking water for decades, he says. And the result is marked. In fact, Dr Youssef recently treated one teenager with a dozen cavities, which he says is mainly due to lack of fluoride here. That regional oral problem – and recent changes to federal government dental assistance for people with chronic illness – inspired Dr Youssef to introduce a payment plan at the Jindalee Rd practice. The interest-free plan – which enables patients to pay off dental work needed

    now over up to 18 months, is provided by a third party.

    “We offer dental payment plans with 18 months’ interest

    free, so that our patients can experience complete

    convenience,” Dr Youssef says. The system is “a big relief to mums and dads” who bring their children to the practice. Dr Youssef believes preventing issues such as gum disease and tooth decay will save patients

    money and pain. “We offer full mouth check-ups and cleans, as well as education on such issues, including visits to schools,” Dr Youssef says. And he plans to employ another dentist at the practice shortly, he says, so the new Port Macquarie resident can enjoy our great outdoors. TAKE care of your health from your teeth to your toes at a new, multi-practice medical centre in Port

    Macquarie’s industrial area. The Good Shepherd Medical &

    Dental Centre already has GP, dental and pathology services. And Dr Cherif Meena’s dream and design for the

    Jindalee Rd facility is shaping into a wholebody care

    facility. Dr Meena has plans to open a pharmacy at the

    centre and hopes to provide cosmetic services in the near future. Medical and dental services are provided seven days a week, and a doctor is on duty mostly

    until late at night. Long-time north coast Aboriginal

    healthcare specialist Dr Meena was awarded a $350,000 federal government grant late last year to achieve his medical centre dream at the site. Two former offices have been converted into state-of-the-art medical rooms. Patients are greeted by a sleek waiting room that features marbleand daisy-inspired chandeliers. Piped music – Dr Meena’s favourite ’80s hits – helps relax

    patients in the tranquil, grey-andwhite reception area.

    This leads to eight consulting rooms, a treatment room and two dental suites. Pathologist service Douglass

    Hanly Moir operates from a space towards the front of the facility. There also is a conference room

    and a nurses’ chamber. Five toilets, two of them disability

    friendly – there also is a ramp at the front of the centre for wheelchair access – ensure every patient is

    accommodated. Off-street parking for 13 vehicles is at the rear of the premises. Some 4500 patients already are on Dr Meena’s books. But he is accepting more patients and welcomes all Aboriginal clients to the clinic. The GPs – four full-time and two part-time – bulk-bill for all

    appointments, including procedures. There also is a nurse. As well as the dental service, an Aboriginal health worker operates from the site and a mental healthcare

    nurse visits fortnightly. Dr Meena, who has practised for

    21 years, also owns The Good Shepherd Medical Centre in Bold St at Laurieton, south of Port Macquarie. That centre operates five days a week. Phone The Good Shepherd Medical & Dental Centre, at 10 Jindalee Rd, Port Macquarie, on 6581 4494 for further information or to make an appointment.