London: Several dentists from India and
other non-EU countries have been caught in bureaucratic
wrangles between professional governing bodies in Britain, a
leading migrants campaign group said on Saturday.
Non-European dentists who wish to practice?in the UK?have
to pass the Licentiate in Dental Surgery (LDS) exam.
However, candidates who complete the first part of LDS
held by the Royal College of Surgeons of England are not being
allowed to complete the second?part due to wrangles between
the Royal College and the General Dental Council (GDC).
The campaign group HSMP Forum said that the GDC, which
offers a more expensive version of alternative exams in the
form of Overseas Registration Examination (ORE), decided to
treat the LDS certification offered by the Royal College as
not fit for purpose in comparison to its own course.
After a recurring delays in conducting the second stage
exams, the Royal College reportedly informed candidates that
it may not be able to conduct the exams in the near future due
to threats by the GDC.
The Forum said it was informed by candidates that they
received acknowledgement from the GDC that LDS was an
alternative to ORE.
The successful candidates were expected to receive
registration with the GDC in addition to membership of Faculty
of Dentistry Royal College of Surgeon England.
Candidates from India and other non-EU countries paid
thousands of pounds as examination fees and purchased dental
equipments for preparation, but now they feel let down by the
Royal College, which claims to offer the LDS since the
19th?century and believes in `maintaining?highest standards of
surgical practice and patient care`.
Citing examples of problems faced by Indian-origin
candidates, the Forum said that Kerala-origin Sanoj Majeed had
to?borrow money from family and friends to prepare for the
second stage exams, but was not near completing the
formalities required to practice in the UK.
Mumbai-origin Pragati Maheshwari cleared the part 1 exam
in April 2010.
The Forum quoted her as saying: "I am starting to think
that the Royal College is trying to abandon us half way
through the exam process".
Both the Royal college and the General Dental Council are
ignoring the fact that the candidates are getting the short
end of the stick due to their differences.
Neither the college nor GDC seem to realise that it is
much more than money that we have invested in the exam and no
amount of refund will make up for the time and effort lost in
preparing for this exam.
Amit Kapadia, Executive Director of the Forum, said, "At
a time when the government is trying to lure the best and the
brightest of the migrant workers, some of those who are
present in the UK seem to be denied the opportunities and are
being treated unfairly".
It is such a shame that the Royal College is unable to
take a strong stand and fight for these deserving candidates.