Frustrated dentists demand action
 

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Frustrated dentists demand action

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Frustrated dentists demand action

 

Frustrated dentists demand action

A group of dentists claiming they cannot practise in the UK because they are unable to get permission to work are set to lobby the government for action.

The dentists are all British citizens or residents, but were trained outside the European Union. Two months ago, two dentists formed a campaign group and The Resident Dentists Group UK now has over 100 members.

Representatives are set to meet dental leaders and Jack Straw, Leader of the House of Commons, next month for talks.

Dr Bea Kayani, who heads the group, said: ‘As British citizens and residents, we don't get any recognition. Some of us were born here and others have come to live in the UK with their husbands or wives. We have qualified and gained registration – but not here.’

Ms Kayani, who trained in Pakistan, added: ‘The government has spent millions of pounds recruiting dentists abroad. But we're here, trying to be responsible and go through the system. We have 100 members, and everyday someone else comes and says they are in the same position.’

The group says there are anomalies in the way they are treated. For example, dentists with degrees from institutions within the European Union are automatically recognised. Those who went to other institutions within the European Economic Area ¬– including British nationals – are assessed individually.

But dentists who are not nationals of any EEA country, and who qualified outside the EU, will be asked to take the three-part International Qualifying Exam (IQE), which takes around 18 months to complete and costs around £2,800.
The General Dental Council said it has to check that overseas dentists are properly trained and fit to practise in the UK.
The Council says it has made ‘a record number of places’ available for the IQE, but entries have been suspended because it was not seen as fair to take new people into the system until the waiting list had been cleared.
Chief executive Duncan Rudkin said: ‘To protect the public, we have a duty to ensure that all dentists working in the UK are properly trained, qualified and fit to practise.
‘Overseas-qualified dentists, including UK nationals trained outside Europe, must demonstrate to us that they have the necessary knowledge and skills to practise dentistry on UK patients. They are able to do so by passing our IQE.’

He added: ‘We are also carrying out a comprehensive review of the IQE to ensure the GDC's processes are robust and up to date and, most importantly, that they are fulfilling their public protection purpose.
‘We are proposing that the current IQE is replaced with a new exam which would make use of modern assessment methods and would be better able to cope with fluctuations in demand than the current IQE. We hope this new exam will begin in the second half of 2007.’

A spokesperson for the British Dental Association said: ‘The backlog of candidates waiting to take the IQE should be addressed. This would allow individuals to demonstrate whether they meet the rigorous standards required to practise in the UK and prevent their talents being lost and wasted.’

 Posted on : Fri 1st - Dec - 2006

 

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