HEALTH Minister Rosie Winterton said yesterday that overseas dentists who qualify to practise in Britain are being targeted, in an effort to encourage them to work in the NHS and tackle shortages.
A severe lack of dentists has led to long queues of patients forming outside new dental practices. Less than half of adults in England are now registered with an NHS dentist.
But Ms Winterton noted that, thanks to the arrangement of extra sittings of the international qualifying exam, the backlog of overseas dentists waiting to take it has been cleared.
"We are determined that more people who want to see an NHS dentist will be able to.
"This is why, through working with the General Dental Council and the Eastman Dental Institute, we have enabled more overseas dentists who want to practise in Britain to sit the exam, whilst maintaining the standards for dental practice qualification," she explained.
"By increasing the number of exam sittings, the number of dentists who are able to work in Britain is increasing. We are targeting these dentists by informing them of the vacancies that are available in the NHS and their benefits," Ms Winterton said.
"Subject to them passing the exam, they can join the General Dental Council register and work in the NHS," she added.
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