Shrinking jobs, inadequate income hamper matrimonial prospects of … – NewsMeter

Hyderabad: From losing a year for NEET-PG to no recruitment, inadequate infrastructure, and non-payment of stipends, various problems are plaguing the dental students of the two Telugu-speaking states.
In an interview with NewsMeter, Dr. Md Manzur Ahmed, national president of the All India Dental Students Association (AIDSA) discussed the problems faced by the students. AIDSA has over 10,000 members across 16 states. Excerpts:

What is the confusion happening around PG NEET this year?

As per the rules, BDS students are supposed to complete their internship by March 31, 2023, to appear for the NEET scheduled in April. But in Telangana, due to academic delays, the students won’t be able to complete their internship till April 11. This means they will lose their chance to write the NEET for MDS. Apart from around 1,100 BDS interns from Telangana, students of some other states would also be affected as they too would be finishing their internship at later dates. We are planning to meet the health minister and governor to appeal to them to consider a change of date for the NEET exam just like last year. Last year, the exam was postponed for a few days following a similar issue in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh.

What is the main problem faced by BDS and MDS pass outs in AP and Telangana?

Though more than 2,000 new posts for MBBS pass-outs were allotted in Telangana, BDS pass-outs had no such luck. No dental posts were allotted and there is no vacancy. There is no new recruitment for doctors, who are fast reaching the age bar. There are 636 primary health centers in Telangana and 1,145 in Andhra Pradesh. In 90 % of PHCs, there are no dentists, though as per norms a dentist at each PHC is mandatory. Every year, around 1,400 BDS students graduate in AP and around 1,100 in Telangana. But no new posts are allotted and no new jobs are created to absorb some of these dentists.

Are medicos getting their monthly stipends on time?
A few months ago, there was a backlog of five months of stipend at the Government Dental College in Hyderabad. After we met the state health minister, the issue was solved and pending stipends were released. Washrooms in a few government dental colleges were also repaired though improvement in basic infrastructure is needed in some colleges. However, the main issue regarding stipends is related to private dental colleges that are violating norms for PG and UG dental medicos.
Students are working without monthly stipends. There are also a few private dental institutes/clinics in Telangana, which are charging lakhs of rupees from doctors on the pretext of issuing them fake specialization certificates. This is against the rules of the Dental Council of India (DCI), which states that only registered or licensed dental colleges can allot certificates or degrees and charge fees.
Why are more girl students opting for dental studies compared to boys?
It’s mainly due to the long duration of the courses (5 years of BDS plus 3 years of MDS plus years spent in preparing for PG exams). By the time one becomes a dental surgeon, they are around 30 years of age and they lack a firm foothold in their career. On the other side, their non-medical friends settle in their professions by the time they are 25. For girls, it won’t be so difficult to settle down if they are studying a dental course. For boys, lack of adequate income and job hamper their matrimonial prospects too.

What are the other requirements of the time?

The state governments need to launch oral health awareness drives for the community and include dental treatment under the Arogyasri scheme in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana under the Central government’s Ayushman Bharat scheme.

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