On Thursday January 10, 2019, Hon. Edwin Astwood, Minister of Health, Agriculture Sports and Human Services met with Dr. Hiram Lockhart who is an Oral Health Consultant from Nassau, Bahamas who was selected to assist with the assessment of existing oral health services in the TCI as well as making recommendations for the improvement of access to and the delivery of oral health services within the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI).
Dr. Lockhart is the Director of Oral Health with the Ministry of Health Bahamas and has a wealth of experience in managing public oral health programs as well as operating a private practice. He is a Doctor of Dental Surgery and has a Masters in Health Administration as well as having certificates in Cosmetic Dentistry as well as Orthodontics.
Dr. Lockhart was accompanied by our very own Chief Dental Officer Dr. Jameiko Harvey DDS during his visit from the 7th to the 11th of January, 2019. During his visit, Dr. Lockhart met with various stakeholders, inclusive of the Government Dental staff, the Private Dentists, National Health Insurance Acting CEO, Primary Health Care staff as well as the Ministry Executive. Dr. Lockhart also visited some of the sister islands to get a firsthand glimpse as to the level of access to Oral Care.
Based on the in country assessment, Dr. Lockhart will be making recommendations in order to improve the knowledge, aptitude and practice as it relates to oral health, establishment of oral health baseline data and opportunities for the establishment of additional oral health programs. Strategies will also be recommended to address the specific needs of our most vulnerable groups which are children and the elderly. In addition, Dr. Lockhart will be making suggestions for the incorporation of some interventions into the scope of services covered by National Health Insurance Plan.
In a few weeks, Dr. Lockhart will be submitting a final report, which will include plans for conducting a National DMFT Survey (decayed missing filled teeth index) to establish the Oral Health Status of specific populations within the Turks & Caicos Islands.
Dr. Lockhart was impressed with the facilities and the existing programs and believes that the report he will submit will take the Dental Services in the Turks & Caicos Islands to the top in the region.
For more information, please contact the Dental Health Department on 338-5134 or 338-5135.