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.