New GO Restricts Establishment of Dental Colleges in Andhra Pradesh

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New Government Order Restricts Establishment of Dental Colleges in Andhra Pradesh

In a bid to put a cap on the mushrooming dental colleges in the state, the state government, issued a GO last week restricting establishment of more dental colleges in the state.

As per the new guidelines issued by the high power committee, there can only be one dental college in every district while in districts with population of over 40 lakh, two dental colleges can be established.

With 27 Dental Colleges, AP produces around 1,600 graduate and 250 post graduate dentists every year. While around 2,200 students join the Bachelor of Dental Surgery ( BDS ) stream, around 300 join the Master of Dental Surgery ( MDS ), every year.

However, majority of the dentists in the state are struggling to make ends meet with no jobs in the public sector. The rate of unemployment is only adding to the woes of the fresh pass outs. For many, setting up a clinic is an expensive proposition.

“We don’t want to contribute to unemployment,” said Justice Panduranga Rao, chairman of the high power committee that issued the guidelines. “Last year, when the state government issued a notification for two vacant faculty positions in dental colleges, 200 candidates appeared for the interview. While in medicine, there are about 1,000 vacancies but no candidates,” he added.

According to the State Dental Council, there are 16,000 – odd dentists registered with the council. However, around 18,000 to 20,000 dentists are practicing in the state which includes those belonging to other states. “The job scene is not encouraging as doctors with a BDS degree are earning a paltry sum of [rupee] 5,000/- to [rupee] 7,000/- a month. In some cases, doctors earn much less than that,” said Dr Mahendranath Reddy, President of the State Dental Council.

Welcoming the recently issued GO, Dr Satish Kumar Reddy, executive committee member, Dental Council of India, said: “We don’t need more dental colleges. Students should not get carried away and weigh the pros and cons of opting for the dental stream,” said Dr Reddy.

Experts said that dentists are only available in hospitals at district headquarters. “While there is a proposal to create posts for dentists in every primary health care facility, which will create more job opportunities, it is yet to be fully implemented,” said Dr Mahendranath Reddy.