Govt. to appoint a dentist per MOH area

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

The Health Ministry yesterday announced that a dentist would be appointed to each MOH area in the country soon. The Cabinet had approved a proposal made by the Ministry in this regard.

Secretary to the Health Ministry Dr. Nihal Jayathilaka told The Island that in 2005, only 600 dentists and dental surgeons had served the country. But, at present about 1,300 dentists and dental surgeons were serving the country. The government was spending Rs. 50 million for the dental services in the country annually. Almost all the State-run hospitals had been provided with modern dental equipment.

He pointed out that the successive governments had not been able to upgrade the dental services, but President Mahinda Rajapaksa had done his best to improve it. In the near future the school dental healthcare services would be upgraded. The request to improve the dental health services in the schools too had been given the green light by the government.

Dr. Jayathilaka added that a comprehensive survey conducted by the Health Ministry had shown that many individuals, including school children, had developed different types of oral cancers. The time had come to pay greater attention to the mouth, because smoking, drinking liquor and chewing betel had caused enormous problems to the dental health of the people.

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