Shorter stint in govt hospital for dental grads


PETALING JAYA: Dental graduates will only have to serve the Health Ministry for two years instead of three, Deputy Health Minister Datuk Rosnah Abdul Rashid Shirlin said.

She said the Malaysian Dental Council had approved the shorter national service on Feb 29.

“Due to the tremendous increase in the number of graduates, it is timely that the compulsory national service be shortened. This will ensure that new graduates will continue to serve in the ministry.

“For those who have served their compulsory two years, they may wish to join the private sector,” she said before launching the Colgate Oral Health Month 2012 in Bandar Utama yesterday.

She said that last year, 415 graduates had registered with the Malay­sian Dental Council.

“This represents an almost 400% increase from 2002 to 2011 (112 in 2002 to 415 in 2011),” she said.

Rosnah said with the setting up of new facilities and upgrading of existing facilities at the primary care level, the ministry would continue to require the services of dental graduates.

She said there were 4,289 active dental practitioners, with 58% of them serving in the public sector as at Dec 31.

Malaysian Dental Assocation president Dr Mohamad Muzafar Hami­rudin said he was shocked to find that 90% of adults had cavities, according to a survey by the ministry.

He said that since oral diseases might be linked with a higher incidence of life-threatening diseases, it was important to educate Malaysians about regular dental check-ups.