In an unprecedented move, Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan announced the Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2019 with the approval of Rajya Sabha on 8th July, 2019. Last week, the bill was passed by Lok Sabha for amending Dentists Act, 1948.
According to the bill, parliament wants to restructure the Dental Council of India for effective functioning. Restructuring the Dental Council would mitigate redundancy. The bill requests to make changes in clauses concerning its membership and State Councils.
This bill comprises:
- Joint State Dental Councils
- State Dental Councils
- Dental Council of India
Dental aspirants having recognised dental qualifications are registered under Part A; aspirants not having such qualifications come under Part B. There are 950 dentists registered under Part B and 2.7 lakh dentists listed under Part A. According to state government’s notification, persons listed under Part B have been practicing as dental practitioners for at least five years prior to a registration date. The current proposal seeks to remove the mandatory requirements for Part B registered dental practitioners.
Replying to the parliamentary debate, Dr Harsh Vardhan said “This is a very simple legislation. It will certainly give proper proportion in Dental Council of India to qualified dental surgeons and they will be able to exercise their duties in a far better manner and it will be reflected in better quality of dental education through the control of the Dental Council of India in the country.”
“We don’t prefer anyone nor against anyone,” he added this point on the bill.
NCP leader Supriya Sadanand Sule spoke on following points:
- Lack of dental insurance
- Increasing number of oral cancer in India
- Less state expenditure on oral hygiene