Gers.  Which eight cities will this dental bus, unique in Occitania, serve?

Gers. Which eight cities will this dental bus, unique in Occitania, serve?

The dental bus was presented in the presence of the President of the French Red Cross on October 22, 2022. (©DR)

The idea comes from Maria Josee Zagovice president of the Red Cross Gers. She was responsible for the social green number in Gers. After having trouble finding a. she lost count of the calls dentist in many medical deserts of the department.

We were with Philippe Pomar, dean of the Faculty of Dentistry in Toulouse. Enthusiasm about the project. He invested 200% to make it happen.

Marie-Josee ZagoVice President of the Gers Red Cross

The Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry is enthusiastic about the project

Since 2019, the concept has been gradually fine-tuned. This bus will be open to students at the end of the course (trainee and sixth year student) supported by dentists from the Gers department.

“So it’s a way to connect future dentists with the territory and thus support future establishments in the department”, rejoices Marie-Josée Zago.

€200,000 investment in this “high-tech” bus

It was necessary to invest €200,000 in equipping this bus with state-of-the-art technology.

We must not exceed 3.5 tonnes gross weight to avoid restrictions in the heavy goods vehicle licence. The vast majority of our volunteers do not have this permission.

Marie-Josee ZagoVice President of the Gers Red Cross

Instead of weighing 600 kg, the wheelchair weighs only 250 kg. The Red Cross has therefore multiplied research and partnerships to ensure that all equipment is under the weight limit.

They could count on the mobilization of sponsors who covered all the costs of creating and equipping this bus: The Signal Foundation, Crédit Agricole, Region, Department, Groupama and Fondation de France.

Interior of a dental bus.
Interior of a dental bus. (©DR)

In 2023, eight municipalities will use the bus

The bus just keeps going Monday and Tuesday. The selection of the selected villages was carried out by the ARS and the Chairman of the Council of the Order of Dentists Gers. This was done based on the most important areas without dentists.

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Here are the receiving municipalities:

Castelnau-d’Auzan, Estang, Le Houga, Cazaubon, Simorre, Montesquiou, Ordan-Larroque and Castéra-Verduzan.

The bus will stay in each village for half a day and will be present every 15 days. The Gers Red Cross will cover accommodation and meals for students from Toulouse.

Three goals for this implementation

This tour bus is unique in the south of France. So far, only two initiatives have been deployed in Brittany and Seine-Saint-Denis. It will have trial value for other territories.

The three objectives pursued by this project are:

• Improve access to care.
• Identify patients who have no health insurance and care for them to correct this.
• Attract future dentists to the Gers.

According to Marie-Josée Zago, once the tripartite agreement is signed by Purpan Hospital, this bus will be put into service a priori “in the coming weeks”.

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