New Delhi, Jul 3 : The Lok Sabha on Wednesday passed The Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that does away with mandatory representation for practicing dentists without proper qualification in the Dentist Councils at different levels.The new draft law amends The Dentists Act of 1948.
The previous law provided for representation of dentists registered under 'Part B', which include persons not holding such qualifications but are engaged in the practice of dentistry as principal means of livelihood for a period not less than five years prior to the date appointed under section 32 of the Act, in the Councils.
The official sources said that there are approximately 950 dentists registered in Part B and 2.7 lakh dentists in Part A - consisting of dentists possessing recognised dental qualifications.
Responding to members queries and issues raised by several members during the debate, Dr Vardhan said he was himself an ENT surgeon and thus well appreciated the gravity of the issue of oral health and dental care.
The Minister also made it clear that the Modi government would not like to pursue any policy of 'nepotism' in the country and definitely not on the issue of health care.
"We do not encourage any policy of Bhai-Bhatija (nepotism and pushing the interest of relatives)," Dr Vardhan said.
He assured Trinamool Congress member Pratima Mondal that contrary to her apprehension, the Dental Council of India would work in a non-partisan manner as the Council is constituted with all kinds of learned representatives including the state government nominees.
Replying to the debate on the Bill, Dr Harsh Vardhan asked the members to spread awareness about the oral health and educate people about the harmful effects of tobacco on health.
He said such campaign would also augur well for the political class vis-a-vis the overall welfare of the people.
The members irrespective of party affiliation urged the government during the debate to promote dentistry in the country.
Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury (Congress), Badruddin Ajmal (AIUDF) and Rajiv Pratap Rudy (BJP) also spoke.
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said oral health care should be inculcated among people from young age and should be made part of the academic curriculum also.
He lamented that still in India after so many decades of Independence and in an era of digital economy, about 50 per cent of people do not use brush and paste.Among others NCP member Supriya Sule expressed concern on the issue of oral cancer in the country.
"It is true tobacco and Gutka are real issues linked to oral cancer....but there is a substantial population today in India which is suffering from oral cancer purely because of bad oral hygiene," Ms Sule said.
BJP member and former Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy also underlined on the importance of oral health care and said brushing teeth twice in the day is a must.
"....teeth have some peculiarities, they need care; and those who do not do it, do not take care of their teeth, they do suffer," Mr Rudy said.(UNI)