Sunday, March 6, 2016

MOH to create more posts for future dentists

The Ministry of Health (MOH) will create new posts for dental officers in stages to meet the expectations of the people for good dental care and services. Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said this year, a total of 391 new posts for grade U41 and 300 posts on contract basis for the placement of dental graduates who graduated last year but had not yet appointed was implemented. "Application for additional dental officer posts will be done in stages for graduates of 2016 and subsequent years," he said in a statement today. He was commenting on a report by a television station recently about the fate of dentistry graduates who had to wait almost a year to secure compulsory placement at government hospitals. Dr Noor Hisham also denied there was an oversupply of dentistry graduates in the country. He said the number of graduates, made up largely of overseas graduates had increased markedly since 2014, numbering 245 people in 2013, 2014 (447) and 2015 (482). However, he said based on the projected needs for dental officers by the ministry, the country still needed dentistry graduates. Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry was very concerned about the compulsory placement for dentistry graduates and in the midst of refining several approaches and methods to address the issue. He said at the moment, most dentistry graduates failed to secure placement due to 99% of dental officer posts in the ministry having been filled. "A total of 980 graduates registered with the Malaysian Dental Council last year and this is a very significant improvement compared to the previous years. Of that total, 504 graduates received placement in the ministry. "The remaining 476 graduates have been waiting between six and nine months for placement in view of only 87 vacancies available and last year's attrition rate of dental officers was only eight per cent," he said. In order to tackle the problems in the placement of dentistry graduates, Dr Noor Hisham said the ministry had reduced the compulsory service for all dentistry graduates from three years to one year effective July 1, last year. "The reduction of the compulsory service period will provide an opportunity for dental officers to serve in the private sector in a shorter period," he said. He said that currently, 95% of dentistry graduates were undergoing compulsory service with the ministry. Besides that, Dr Noor Hisham said since 2012, the ministry had terminated services of non-citizens and retired dental officers, who were appointed on contracts. From March 1, 2013, the Moratorium on Dental Programme was enforced for five years until 2018 and one of the conditions contained in the moratorium was to limit the intake of local dentistry students to 800 a year, he said. – Bernama, March 6, 2016.]]>

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