Dental practitioners will soon have to undergo mandatory continuing education, in order to renew their licences annually.
Minister of Health and Wellness, Lt. Col. Jeffrey Bostic, in an address to the 17th Caribbean Dental Programmes Annual Conference, said that the proposed legislation would align Barbados with most countries, where continuing education was mandatory for practitioners to be registered annually.
Noting that it was imperative that practitioners remained current with technology to safeguard and service the population, he observed: “It is recognized that because dentistry is such a dynamic profession, most of what was learnt in school becomes outdated after three years.”
The Health and Wellness Minister said that there had been a thorough review of the Dental Registration Act, and disclosed that along with the amendment to introduce mandatory continuing education, there will also be the establishment of a dental specialist register.
These amendments, he said, would assist the public in making more informed choices when seeking dental services, while also giving them the assurance that the highest standards and quality of care were being maintained.
Lt. Col. Bostic also announced that the Caribbean Dental Programme, along with the Barbados Community College, was working towards the reintroduction of a training course for all dental surgery assistants.
Currently, he submitted, there was great variation in how dental surgery assistants were trained in each dental practice.
The course would standardize the training, cardiopulmonary resuscitation would be included, and consideration would be given to structuring an online component, which would be facilitated by the Barbados Community College.