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Efficiency of mobile dental unit in public health programs

Authors: NitinGupta and Vaibhav Gupta

Int J Med Res Health Sci.14-18 | pdf PDF Full Text

Almost all dental Colleges run a mobile dental operation for people living in far inaccessible areas who are not able
to avail dental care. Mobile dental clinics provide a mode of reaching the unreached by delivering dental care in
areas where alternative i.e. private practitioners and fixed clinics are unavailable or inaccessible. Oral diseases
account for high morbidity in the community which is compounded by the gross mal-distribution of provision of oral
health services in India. In order to ensure accessibility to basic oral health services innovative models of service
delivery are being explored. In this context the health economics of mobile oral health care is critically evaluated in
this paper. Thus a cost analysis was undertaken to determine the operating expenses for the existing mobile dental
unit. Requisite permission of Head of institution was obtained and data was extracted from the records of the mobile
dental unit for the year 2014-15.Information on the operating expenses was collected. Costing was done using step
down accounting method. Total operating cost of the unit for the year 2014-15 was Rs. 184888/-.Unit cost for each
camp was Rs.3625/- and for each patient Rs.76/-. Mobile dental programs can play a vital role in providing access
to care to underserved populations and ensuring their mission requires long-term planning. Careful cost analysis
based on sound assumptions is of utmost importance.
Keywords: Mobile Dental Unit, Operating Expenses, Cost Analysis

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