Monday, October 04, 2010

Dental council prescribes surgery for edu standards

Concerned over falling standards of dental professionals, the Dental Council of India (DCI) has decided to put some teeth into the regulations. Allowing dental colleges to be opened only if attached to a medical college, review of clinical acumen of doctors every 10 years, an all-India exit test after graduation and a blanket ban on opening new dental colleges --- these are some of the changes the DCI plans to usher in to recast dental education.

The DCI Executive Committee which met last month identified ten key issues which need to be addressed. The DCI plans to cut the seat matrix of colleges from 100 to 50 seats and 50 to 30 seats. "There is a serious problem of quality faculty in stand-alone dental colleges in the country. Since most subjects in BDS in the first two years are similar to that of the MBBS courses, the faculty could be shared between medical and dental colleges run by the same institution. The hospital facility too could be used by dental colleges," Pradeep Shetty, Member, DCI, told TOI.

The DCI has written to all chief ministers not to allow opening of new dental colleges in their states. It asked states to completely stop giving essentiality certificates to colleges, or limit the number of seats for which they have forecast the employability.

Currently, 118,000 registered dental surgeons are in the dental register but only 6,000 doctors were employed in the government sector at primary health centres. About 23,000 dentists graduate from 289 dental colleges every year.
Once essentiality certificates are issued by governments, the DCI does not have any option but to visit the college and submit its recommendation. "We want the process to be stopped at the state level itself. However, there has been no response from the states," Shetty added.
The apex body is now seeking feedback from dental and medical professionals on the proposed reforms.

Source: The Times of India, October 4, 2010
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