Maharashtra To Block New Dental Colleges:
Tobacco, the drug which has destroyed many families, is still being consumed by many people in different parts of our country. Maharashtra is one of the top states in consuming tobacco in any form even after strong restrictions on it. In India, every tenth tobacco-related death occurs in Maharashtra. Its consumption is predominant in rural areas. This has led to more number of oral disease patients in rural areas. However there is an inadequacy of medical facilities in such places. The number of dentists is very less in villages. This scenario is exactly opposite in urban areas. The total number of dentists in cities has crossed the required limit. Finding a dental clinic in a city has become very common. In light of all this, the news – Maharashtra to block new dental colleges – comes as something of a shock.
According to statistics of 2004, the dentist-population ratio in urban India was 1:10,000. It was 1:250,000 in rural India. According to W.H.O., the ideal ratio should be 1:7,500. In 2014, this ratio was 1:10,000 in India. It is decreasing but this number is still not enough. This has led to unemployment of many dentists in our country. In all this, the Dental Council of India (DCI) has decided not to give permission for opening to any new dental college.
However this decision has made Maharashtra Government restless as there are very few dental practitioners in rural parts of the state. The Directorate of Medical Education and Research (DMER) are planning to convince the higher authorities by giving them the current information of dental colleges and the density of dentists in the state. According to the DMER officials, Maharashtra is certainly an exception to this new rule. The DCI should understand the current situation of the state and take the right decision.
The scarcity of dentists in rural parts of the state is certainly a matter of concern. Some of the reasons are:
- Uneven Distribution of Dental Colleges
The distribution of dental colleges in Maharashtra is very uneven. It is mostly concentrated in cities like Nashik, Mumbai, Pune etc. These parts are mainly the urban regions of the state. However this number is very less in other areas of the state. Thus less number of dentists practice in the rural parts.
- More Private Colleges
Out of 44 dental colleges in the state, 40 are private. Naturally being private colleges the fees are much higher than government colleges. Thus dentists prefer practicing medicine in urban areas where they can earn the money they have invested in the education. This reduces their number in villages.
- Decreasing job opportunity
The opportunities for dental graduates are in scarcity. Jobs in government sector are few. When a new hospital opens, it creates only 1-2 jobs for dentist as compared to many jobs for medical graduates. Salary in private hospitals is also less. Most Private hospitals and clinics offer a dental fresher an amount of less than Rs. 30,000 per month for a full time job.
These points have made the decision of Maharashtra to block new dental colleges, all the more puzzling.
Thus there should be proper remedial measures in order to increase the dental practitioners in rural regions.
Dental science is a stream that is starting to attract a lot of attention from students these days. You can read more about making a career in dentistry here.