Health Ministry confident of achieving ratio of one dentist per 3,000 people by next year: Hilmi

SEREMBAN: The Health Ministry has expressed confidence in achieving its target ratio of one dentist per 3,000 people in the country by next year.

Deputy Minister Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahaya (pix) said up to December, last year, the current ratio between a dentist to the people was at 1:4,391.

He said the target was based on the ministry's decision to recruit dentistry graduates from both local universities and abroad to work on contract basis beginning this year.

"They are being placed at dental clinics that have vacancies. Through the acquisition, the ratio that the ministry has set can be achieved," he said after launching the national-level Dentistry and the Buddhism Collaborative programme at the Tokong Penganut Dewa San Kau Tong, here, today.

He further said that the ratio will be reviewed from time to time based on various factors such as changes in population size and type of diseases.

"The ratio's purpose serves only as a guide to determine the direction of dental services in the country. When we have achieved the ratio, we'll see what next," he said.

Meanwhile, he said, the programme conducted in the Buddhist temple is the second of its kind after a similar programme involving Muslims was conducted in the mosque in March, with future programmes to be held in other places of worship as such as Hindu temples and churches .

He added places of worship was chosen because many people in the country often visits them and this enables the promotion of health-related services and aspects of dentistry to be done on various levels of society.