LS approves Dentist (Amendment) Bill
New Delhi, July 3 (PTI): A Bill to do away with mandatory representation for practising dentists without proper qualification in the Dentist Councils at different levels was passed by the Lok Sabha on Wednesday.
Piloting the Dentist (Amendment) Bill, 2019, Health Minister Harsh Vardhan said the government was taking a host of steps to improve awareness of oral health in the country.
He said the amendment aims to remove the word ‘mandatory’ and the bill was “neither against nor in favour of anyone…it seeks to do away with aberration”.
The Dentists Act 1948 provided for representation of dentists registered under Part B, which include persons not holding such qualifications but are engaged in practice of dentistry as principal means of livelihood for a period not less than five years prior to the date appointed under section 32 of the Act, in the Councils.
However, no person was registered under Part B after 1972, said the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill.
It further said that there are approximately 950 dentists registered in Part B and 2.7 lakh dentists in Part A, (consisting of dentists possessing recognised dental qualifications.
Replying to the debate on the bill, Harsh Vardhan asked the members to spread awareness about the oral health and educate people about the harmful effects of tobacco on health.
He also sought active participation of members on government’s programme of ‘eat right, eat less’ as a movement to improve general health of the people.
The Bill, which was passed by a voice vote, got support from all sections of the House cutting across party line.
The members participating in the debate urged the government to promote dentistry in the country.
Participating in the debate, Vishnu Prasad (Congress) was of the view that government should come out with a comprehensive Bill and suggested the Dental Council of India be reframed as it was the need of the hour.
Pratima Mondal (AITC) said she strongly opposed the Bill on the ground that the members will be nominated by the government.
Others who spoke included, Adhir Ranjan (Cong), Badruddin Ajmal (AIUDF, Supriya Sule (NCP) and Rajiv Pratap Rudy (BJP).