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 MOH to consider accrediting private training centres for dentists

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Join date : 2009-10-04
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PostSubject: MOH to consider accrediting private training centres for dentists   Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:19 pm

SINGAPORE: Singapore has only 1,300 dentists in active practice and the Ministry of Health (MOH) wants to increase this number by between 60 and 80 per cent over the next 10 years.

It is studying a proposal to allow foreign dentists from the region to practise and train here under an accreditation scheme.

There is one dentist for every 3,400 people here in Singapore, a figure that has lagged far behind developed countries.

Singapore produces 40 dentists a year and MOH hopes to ramp this up. It is considering accrediting private training centres to allow registered foreign dentists to treat patients while undergoing training.

Patrick Tseng, chief dental officer, Ministry of Health, said: "Right now, the primary training centres are the universities and the national dental centres, the two public institutions.

"But we’re trying to encourage the private dental centres to become accredited training centres as well, in which they can take in foreign students and train them and practise under short courses."

It said this will ensure that proper standards of instruction, supervision, expertise and facilities are maintained at training institutions.

Private dental group Q&M aims to be one of the training centres to provide accredited, advanced training for both local and foreign dentists. The courses will be launched once Q&M Dental Group gets a full set of guidelines from the Health Ministry.

Dental professionals must fulfil a set of criteria before they can apply for training under this new scheme. Q&M hopes to recruit dentists from neighbouring countries to work here.

Dr Ng Chin Siau, CEO, Q&M Dental Group, said: "We’re setting our sights on Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines. China is also another big market for us."

Q&M opened Singapore’s largest dental centre at City Square Mall on Tuesday. Set up at a cost of S$3 million, the 12,000 square foot centre has 32 fully—furnished private consultation rooms.

It will offer a variety of services from general dental treatment to specialist services such as aesthetic dentistry, orthodontics and oral surgery. — CNA/vm

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