Fate of unemployed dental surgeons

Host of reasons have contributed to dental surgeons not being employed in Government hospitals. Whether it is rolling out of qualified dental surgeons from the medical institutes not commensurate with the availability of posts or in other words, demand for them being inelastic or the faulty planning of the successive Governments or overall insufficient awareness about the dental care among the people, the problem of unemployment has been troubling them for years.. Looking to the overall healthcare scenario and tremendous changes it is constantly undergoing on account of new challenges as well opportunities, mooting a possibility of reviewing of dental courses to widen in scope and in order to make them in a position to handle other assignments in hospitals and health institutions in addition to their own, can also be considered. However, that being a question of a National Policy which only experts in medical field and policy planners can decide, the issue of the unemployed dental surgeons needs to be addressed and not allowed to be kept lingering on. As on date, their number is stated to be over 7000 in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir, a cause of concern.
We know the general trend with the policy planners in the UT Health and Medical Education Department in which the role of the Finance Department too is felt in respect of providing funds base, that shortage of Doctors and Specialists, more or less, has become an accepted reality and a general practice. If from that angle the problem of dental surgeons is looked at , even a vast improvement would not address the issue in the long run , that again being a question of demand and supply. We cannot run away from the reality in that even applying the standards set by the WHO of one dental surgeon for 7500 persons which calls for a total of 1733 dental surgeons in the entire UT while there are only 543 employed and working, the problem would not be fully resolved. Even applying the WHO standards in entirety, how can 7000 unemployed dental surgeons, as on date, be all absorbed is the moot question. However, if we analyse the impact of the unspecified moratorium on ”creating” posts of dental surgeons in Government hospitals and other health institutions by the successive Governments right from 2008 onwards, the problem definitely looks having accentuated. Unless an overall and holistic view is taken by the Government, the problem not only would remain as it is on date but year after year, with the continuous inertial approach, it was going to get compounded.
While the aspiring dental surgeons undergo all the related pulls and pressures as is wont with every professional pursuit, their hard work, money and time expended with the hope of getting absorbed after being rolled out of the colleges, at the end of the day getting virtually shattered, speaks poor about how the Government looks at the problem. There is frustration among hundreds of such persons feeling the brunt of being unable to earn a livelihood forcing them even to agitate and protest and come on streets ostensibly to attract the attention of the Government. We have learnt that these unemployed persons have approached Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha as well as even the Union Home Ministry to resolve their problem which in fact, started getting surfaced more vividly after 2008-09. There can be schemes also for setting up of private clinics for individual dental surgeon and private health institutions for groups of individuals which can be financed by commercial Banks while margin money thereon could be paid by the Government and extending other concessions by it to those among the unemployed ones who expressed willingness for the same so as to provide livelihood to them as also easing the situation to a larger extent, the Government initiatives for providing jobs to them simultaneously notwithstanding.