About the program
The Homelessness and Oral Health Program (HOHP) provides participating homelessness support agencies with a simple referral pathway for eligible clients to access priority general and emergency dental care, including denture care. There are no out-of-pocket costs for clients referred through the HOHP.
To be eligible for the HOHP clients need to be:
- Homeless or at risk of homelessness*
- 18 years or over
- Holder of a current Centrelink Concession Card
Clients need to have a referral form completed by a Homelessness Support Agency Worker to access the HOHP.
*The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) defines homelessness as the lack of one or more elements that represent ‘home’.
The ABS statistical definition of homelessness is ‘… when a person does not have suitable accommodation alternatives, they are considered homeless if their current living arrangement:
- is in a dwelling that is inadequate
- has no tenure, or if their initial tenure is short and not extendable, or
- does not allow them to have control of, and access to space for social relations’ (ABS 2012)’.
The completed HOHP referral form is emailed to: HealthSADSServicePlanning@sa.gov.au
On receipt of the referral form, the HOHP team liaise with service providers and/or directly with the client regarding dental appointment details.
Referred clients are triaged and a dental appointment is allocated according to the urgency of their dental needs. Clients may be seen at a SA Dental clinic or participating private dentist.
Emergency dental care
Clients will require an emergency dental appointment if they have the following symptoms:
- Facial swelling – client may also be feeling unwell, have a fever and/or finding it difficult to open their mouth, swallow or breathe
- Recent traumatic injury to the face, jaw or teeth
- Uncontrolled bleeding from the mouth which is unable to be resolved without medical intervention.
In the case of a life-threatening dental emergency which requires immediate attention, clients need to contact their closest dental clinic or if after hours, a public hospital emergency department.
General dental care
Clients with non-urgent dental problems will be allocated a priority appointment according to availability.
Homeless Support Agency Workers can complete a program referral form and email the form to the HOHP team.
If you have any questions about the HOHP and how to refer your clients, please contact the HOHP team.