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Foreign dentists to be allowed to work in UK directly

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Foreign dentists will no longer need to pass a qualifying exam in order to work in the UK.

The overseas entry exam that is presently necessary to let dentists from non-European nations to practise in Britain is about to be eliminated by ministers.

Currently, the General Dental Council (GDC), Britain’s dental regulator, requires qualified dentists practicing outside of the European Economic Area to pass an exam.

Only those who graduated before 2001 are excluded from the exam, and these people come from 14 selective universities in Australia, South Africa, Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and New Zealand.

The new plans would mean dentists trained abroad would be able to start working without a formal check on their education, but would be supervised when working.

That would give the GDC new legal powers to provisionally register dentists using its own judgment on their qualifications.

Officials claim this will “ensure patient safety and quality of care are maintained”, while those on the new register would have to be supervised to work.

This is done in an effort to solve the dental crisis in the UK, as four in five NHS dental surgeries are currently not accepting new patients.

A&E admissions have seen a sharp rise in teeth-related admissions, including among children with tooth decay.

Health leaders described the entry exams as “red tape” causing “lengthy delays” in dentists being able to start treating patients.

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Public Health, Start for Life and Primary Care, Andrea Leadsom, said the plan would “abolish red tape that currently prevents fully qualified overseas dentists from working in this country, while ensuring the highest standards of care and patient safety”.

The dentists’ union has criticised the new plan however, accusing the Government of trying to “fill a leaky bucket” without addressing the real issues.

The British Dental Association (BDA) said the “recovery plan” was not worthy of the title and there was “no evidence” that foreign dentists are more willing to do NHS work compared to British dentists.

The number of those doing NHS work has fallen to 2016 levels, despite there being a record number of dentists being registered with the GDC.

BDA chair, Eddie Crouch, said: “A broken contract is forcing dentists out of the NHS with every day it remains in force.

“Overseas dentists are no more likely to stick with a failed system than their UK colleagues. Ministers need to stop trying to fill a leaky bucket, and actually fix it.”

Imperial Hospital Sylhet
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Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury

Dulal Ahmed Chowdhury is the Editor of The Daily Dazzling Dawn. Previously, he has been serving in important positions in all the famous national dailies of the Bangladesh since the nineties. He has played a commendable role in journalism by participating in various events at the national and international levels. United Nations Conference, World Climate Conference, SAARC Summit are notable among them.

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