New Delhi: The government will table the National Dental Commission Bill, 2022 in the upcoming Winter session of the Parliament. The Bill seeks to set up a National Dental Commission and repeal the Dentists Act, of 1948.
Dr Mahesh Verma, vice-chancellor Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi told ANI, “It is important to bring this particular NDC Bill in Parliament. The role of NDC will be something very similar to what is being done currently by the Dental Council of India.”
“About two-and-a-half-years back, the government restructured the Medical Council of India (MCI) into National Medical Commission (NMC). So, on similar lines, the Dental Commission of India (DCI) will be restructured into National Dental Commission (NDC),” he said.
“The restructuring of the DCI into NDC will be exactly similar to the conversion of the MCI into the NMC,” he added.
Verma further informed that there were multiple representations before the central government nominee.
“There are representations of the state government, state universities and as state councils by rotation. This is to ensure that at any given point of time, there is a small body which can work cohesively rather than a huge one. Currently, in the Dental Council of India, every state has a state nominee and so does state councils and universities. These nominees apart, there is also a nominee of the central governor,” Verma said.
“The intent behind the NDC is to be effective, efficient and take quick decisions,” he added.
According to a top doctor, who asked not to be named, the Bill is a ‘great move’ by the Union government.
“It will be great move by the government to table the NDC Bill in Parliament. It has been pending for long because of one reason or the other. Though the dental profession is not the first priority for the government, the need of the hour is to improve dental education and the quality of dental care for the common man. The coming of the NDC will be a huge step in that direction. Two to three years back, they (Centre) introduced the NMC in the same way. Dental education needs better guidelines from the government and a better carrier for the students,” he added.
He said not many today are ready to join the field as there aren’t very many jobs available in dentistry.
“Today, nobody seems willing to join dentistry because there are not enough jobs available. People are working for Rs 10,000- Rs 20,000 after spending so much money (on dental education) and they are not getting any jobs after passing out. It is disheartening to see after 75 years of independence, this country still can’t provide good career opportunities in dentistry. This despite the fact that 95 per cent of our population do suffer from dental issues,” he further said.
However, Dr JM Jeyaraj, MDS, consultant orthodontist from Coimbatore, who wrote an email in this regard to the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, said, “After getting the NDC Bill ready, the government lost faith in it and did not have the courage to table it in Parliament as it would not eradicate the wrongs. Though the Bill was listed to be tabled in the last three sessions of the Parliament, it wasn’t.”
“The Dentist Act, 1948 is definitely a better Act than the proposed NDC. The whole problem is turning a blind eye to corruption without asking the agencies to probe malpractice. It has the government’s own failing not to have notified proper members (of the DCI), as per the Act,” he added.
Dr Anil Kumar Chandna, a member of the executive committee of the Dental Council of India, pointed out that DCI is a democratic body while the proposed NDC is not, and the Bill needs further rectification and clarity before being introduced in Parliament.
“Instead of rectifying silent lines in the Dentist Act 1948, the government is trying to bring NDC with nothing more to say about NMC. You can read the recent HC judgment in the case of Dhanalaxmi medical college V/S NMC. The DCI is a Democratic body whereas NDC is not. The NDC still needs rectification and more clarity,” he said.