The dental prosthetics laboratory and training clinic in Churchill which officially opened on the weekend is set to contribute to the economic base, job opportunities and retention of health professionals in the Latrobe Valley.
Thirty-eight full-time jobs will be available at the $6.14 million centre, and Latrobe Community Health Service has already filled the role of a senior dental prosthetics technician and two dental prosthetics technician apprenticeships.
Eleven people were employed during its construction.
LCHS chief executive Ben Leigh said in the future the organisation would increase its general practice and other primary health services and would introduce National Disability Insurance Scheme services at the site.
It has been four years in the making since LCHS eventually sourced funding from both state and federal governments.
LCHS has signed a partnership agreement with Federation University to be the preferred GP, allied health and dental services provider for its students and academic staff, and a training partnership with RMIT University for dental technicians and prosthetists.
Mr Leigh said the lab would provide dental prosthetics to other public dental services right across Gippsland.
Federal member for Gippsland Darren Chester said with Federation University and Gippsland medical school nearby, students would have every opportunity to hone their skills, including through programs such as rural internships and post-graduate training.
Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford said the project created a real jobs boost in the Valley and would help establish Gippsland as an industry leader in dental prosthetics and workforce training.
“We promised to build a new dental prosthetics lab and training facility in Churchill and we have delivered on that promise for the people of the Latrobe Valley,” she said.
Mr Leigh thanked the community for its patience during the construction of the building.