Bhubaneswar: The Dental Council of India (DCI) has suggested to the centre for introduction of a three-year MBBS bridge course for BDS graduates who could work as full-fledged MBBS doctors, said the DCI president, Prof. Dibyendu Majumdar, here on Saturday.

“We are awaiting the clearance from the Medical Council of India (MCI) in this connection,” Prof. Majumdar said while speaking at the ‘Eastern Zonal Continuing Dental Education Program, 2018’ being held under the aegis of the Indian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology at the SOA (Deemed to be University).

The DCI, he said, was also trying to convince the central government that much importance was required to be given to oral healthcare as 40 to 45 per cent of all cancers pertained to the oral cavity alone. “There is a huge budget for health and the DCI is asking for a separate budget for oral health,” Prof. Majumdar said.

Prof. Jay Gopal Roy,  eminent oral pathologist and former president of Indian Association of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology (IAOMP), also addressed the inaugural session. Prof. Amit Banerjee, vice-chancellor of SOA presided over the function which was addressed by Prof. Neeta Mohanty, dean of Institute of Dental Sciences (IDS), faculty of dental sciences of SOA,  and Dr. Swagatika Panda, organising secretary of the program.

Prof. Majumdar said the government had already agreed to the DCI proposal to allow dental surgeons to give death certificates in case a patient died while under treatment in a dental clinic or hospital.

Stressing that research must be an important part of all institutions imparting education in dental sciences, he praised SOA for the thrust it had put on such activity saying it would augur well for the institution in the future. He also congratulated SOA for conducting a day-long screening of oral health in 16 villages close to Bhubaneswar recently through a team of 130 doctors drawn from the faculties of medicine and dental science during which they examined 1342 people which was a record.