Hello all Indian Dentist
Currently you guys are not allowed to practise here in SG. However there is good news. This was taken from a local paper. Read On
Delegates checking out equipment at the FDI Annual World Dental Congress at Suntec City. The event, which opened yesterday, runs until Saturday. — ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
TWO new initiatives are in the works to ease the dentist shortage here by allowing more dentists from the region to work in Singapore.
Together with other recent measures, this can help bring down the dentist to population ratio, from about one dentist for every 3,400 people to one for every 2,200 within the next two decades, said the Health Ministry’s chief dental officer, Associate Professor Patrick Tseng.
He attended the FDI Annual World Dental Congress at Suntec City which opened yesterday.
Prof Tseng said an agreement is being discussed with India to make it easier for dentists from their top institutions to work here, as long as they pass a series of qualifying exams. Currently, their dentists are not eligible to sit for these exams. ‘They are willing to export. They have 260 dental schools there,’ he said.
A mutual agreement was signed earlier this year to allow dentists from Asean countries to practise in other member countries, subject to the qualification requirements in each country. This will be implemented in January next year.
This means, for example, any dentist from the Philippines or Thailand can apply to work here. Previously, only a restricted number of dentists from Asean could apply.
Currently, the Singapore Dental Council – which regulates the profession here – recognises only qualifications from some foreign dental schools, mostly in the United States and Britain.
This intake of fresh talent will not affect dental standards, said Prof Tseng, because the foreign dentists will also have to sit for the same exams taken by local candidates.
Applicants from Asean countries also need to have at least five years of practice in their home countries before they can apply to work here.
Although this means that dentists here can also work in other Asean countries more easily, better earnings and facilities will help retain most of Singapore’s dentists, said members of the dental community.
Demand for dentists will always be there because of the growing population, medical tourism and the prevalence of dental diseases, added Singapore Dental Association president Dr Lewis Lee. So there should be no worry about competition or a glut of dentists.
Other plans by the Government to ramp up numbers here include increasing training places for dentists and oral health therapists. The list of foreign dental schools approved by the council tripled to 89 last year.
Dental specialities, especially in geriatric dentistry, are also being built up by providing more specialist training places and scholarships.
For Dr Ng Chin Siau, who runs dental chain Q&M, the changes will give him more choices and acquire more specialists, he said.
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