Posts of Dental Surgeons

No need to lay special emphasis on the importance of the oral health as also equally not on the need of reviewing the requirements of the Dental Surgeons in Jammu and Kashmir from to time. However, it looks really beyond comprehension that after the year 2008, the need of having any additional posts and new recruitments would not arise. In other words, for full 12 years the position of the number of Dental Surgeons has remained static and in inertial mode while the number of patients needing dental care is constantly rising. On the other hand, there are over 4500 Dental Surgeons in the UT of Jammu and Kashmir whose services remain unutilized who would otherwise take care of oral health concerning needs of the ever growing number of dental patients and in simpler parlance they are unemployed. Somehow, the issue of creation of additional posts got some life in July last year and it was expected that some concrete decision, even if belatedly, would be taken but as on date, the ground realities are no different from what they were before.
The papers pertaining to the matter are doing rounds of the offices of the Finance Department and Medical Education Department without any decision being taken. Were initially number of posts mentioned more than the requirement or than the exchequer would sustain the burden of salaries etc, is not precisely known but the Directorate of Health Services Kashmir being asked to reduce the number of the posts in the proposal by the Finance Department bring forth the finance angle. Perhaps, had the number of posts been reduced down from 500, approval would have been accorded. In other words, the number has got nothing to do with actual requirements of these specialists but has randomly been arrived at. Whatever the case, the issue is unresolved while the proposal sent by Srinagar Directorate makes a mention that there has been dearth and absence at certain places of oral healthcare specialists across different hospitals in Kashmir. Improper healthcare and scant facilities in this connection, thus, needed to be resolved.
The Financial Commissioner Health and Medical Education agrees that there is a proposal for the creation of posts of the Dental Surgeons but concurrence from the Finance Department was not forthcoming indicates that the matter fell short of its urgency in tangible form. However, we feel that the crux of the problem in short, is appearing to be increasingly pointing towards ”accommodating” increasing numbers of Dental Surgeons against fewer or no vacancies in Government hospitals. That, running the Dental Departments in Government run hospitals across the UT and in particular Kashmir division without any additions in the number of posts of the specialists continuously for the last 12 years, shows that ”things could be managed” without any crisis. That in fact has cast its shadow on the proposal. However, that does not mean that the unemployed ones having specialised in oral healthcare should continue to suffer and remain unemployed.
The Government has to look into the issue from different angles . New batches of students were in the colleges studying the concerned discipline and each year, new specialists are rolled out adding into the number of the unemployed ones and creation of additional posts to keep on accommodating them without actual requirements was no solution. If Government hospitals cannot absorb them for obvious reasons, the Government must devise lucrative schemes for self employment for these professionals while absorbing new ones against available vacant posts on account of superannuation, creation of new posts on account of opening of new health institutions and the need in the existing hospitals and institutions etc would continue but it would not be sufficient enough to absorb the concerned professionals in bulks