Dental Training – There is no control

Dr Josie A Beeley of Glasgow University writes in The Times 25th April 2014:

The General Dental Council has no control over 17% of the dentists on its register ā€“ and more are coming

Sir, Amid the discussions about the qualifications of doctors who trained outside the EU, little attention was paid to EU/EEA-qualified dentists.

Of dentists registered with the General Dental Council (GDC) 72 per cent are UK qualified, 17 per cent are EU/EEA qualified, and 11 per cent are from overseas. Overseas graduates have to pass an overseas registration exam which is of the same standard as the final examination in UK dental schools, and also includes basic science.

However, there is no such requirement for non-UK, EU/EEA- qualified dentists. Moreover, while UK graduates also have to complete a period of supervised practice to be able to practise in the NHS, this is not required of other EU/EEA graduates.

The Association for Dental Education in Europe is trying to achieve harmony in dental education throughout the EU/EEA, but these standards are variable.

The GDC validates training in the UK, but such a national supervisory body is not the EU norm.

Currently the GDC has had no control over the qualifications of 17 per cent of dentists on its register, despite having been set up by Act of Parliament for this purpose. With the proposed reduction in the number of UK dental school places and countries such as Romania producing five times as many dentists as they have employment for, this figure seems likely to rise.

Dr Josie A Beeley

Association of Basic Science Teachers in Dentistry, University of Glasgow

This entry was posted in Dentists, Medical Education, Rationing, Stories in the Media on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

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