Parliament passes Dentists Amendment Bill, 2019


Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan speaks in the Rajya Sabha during the Budget Session of Parliament (PTI Photo)

Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan speaks in the Rajya Sabha during the Budget Session of Parliament (PTI Photo)

A Bill to do away with mandatory representation for practising dentists not holding qualification in the Dentist Councils at different levels was passed by Rajya Sabha on Monday. The Bill was passed by the Lok Sabha last week.

Union Minister for Health Harsh Vardhan introduced the Dentists (Amendment) Bill, 2019 that seeks to further amend the Dentists Act, 1948 in Rajya Sabha.

“This is a very simple legislation. It will certainly give proper proportion in Dental Council of India to qualified dental surgeons and they will be able to exercise their duties in a far better manner and it will be reflected in better quality of dental education through the control of the Dental Council of India in the country,” the minister said.

Later, replying to discussion on the motion for consideration and passage of the Bill, Harsh Vardhan said the Health Ministry was already in the advanced stage of drafting a National Oral Health Policy exclusively dedicated to oral health which includes dentistry.

Santanu Sen of the All India Trinamool Congress, Ram Nath Thakur of JDU, Prasanna Acharya of BJD, K Somaprasad of CPI M, V Vijayasai Reddy of YSRCP, K Keshava Rao of TRS, Ashok Siddharth of BSP and Vishambhar Prasad Nishad of the Samajwadi Party, among others, supported the Bill in Rajya Sabha.

The Dentists Act 1948 provided for representation of dentists registered under Part B, which include persons not holding such qualifications but are engaged in practice of dentistry as principal means of livelihood for a period not less than five years prior to the date appointed under section 32 of the Act, in the Councils.

However, no person was registered under Part B after 1972, said the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the Bill.

It said that there are approximately 950 dentists registered in Part B and 2.7 lakh dentists in Part A, (consisting of dentists possessing recognised dental qualifications.

The Bill, which was passed by a voice vote, got support from all sections of the House cutting across party lines.