In 1997 Keith Pine presented a proposal to the Health Funding Authority (HFA) for the establishment of a mobile dental service to secondary schools in Auckland. At the time, many private dentists had resigned their contracts with the HFA and a large number of secondary school children had no access to government funded dental health care. Pine’s proposal was welcomed by the HFA and within 3 years, over 16,000 children per annum were having their teeth checked and treated at school. The first school to be visited by the mobile dental bus was Westlake Girls High School and a further 34 secondary schools signed up for the service during the next couple of years. Lumino the Dentists continue to run the service today and other mobile dental services to school children have been set up all over New Zealand.
Secondary school children attending their appointment with the mobile dental service
A dental bus joined the school dental service in 1999 and a third unit was added in 2002