With a quarter of UK dentists overseas qualified, GDC says the arrangements for how those professionals will register in future matters to everyone. In its response to the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on its plans to change the legislation, the General Dental Council (GDC) said:
“For too long, we have been unable to improve these arrangements, or adapt to changing external factors such as Brexit or the pandemic, due to outdated and restrictive legislation. That – hopefully – will soon change.
“We have been working with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) on its plans to change the legislation for almost two years.”
The GDC said it supported all the proposals, including:
- Overseas Registration Exam (ORE) candidates who, due to the COVID-19 exams suspension, lost part of their five-year time allowance will have the time restored. 128 people are currently blocked from booking exams because their time expired, and the proposals will resolve this problem.
- The reforms will enable us to increase ORE capacity. This urgent need will increase if the post-Brexit period of recognising EEA qualifications closes after the government’s review next year. If so, the ORE will become the only registration route for dentists qualified outside of the UK.
- The proposals will close the route for overseas-qualified dentists to register as dental care professionals. This will reflect the spirit of the legislation and mirror current arrangements for UK-qualified dentists.
“We welcome the government’s proposals to update the law governing international registration. The proposed changes remove long-standing obstacles to developing more flexible and more efficient international routes to registration, and will allow us to expand capacity without the need for the costs to be subsidised by those already on the register.“These proposals are also a positive first step towards the more comprehensive reform of the legal framework governing our work which is sorely needed, and which would allow us to take a more proportionate and effective approach to regulation. We are continuing to urge the government to make more rapid progress on these wider changes, to the benefit of patients, the wider public, and the dental professionals we regulate.”