A committee formed by the Ministries of Health and Education concluded in early November that shortening the study was not justified. This could lead to risks to the quality and safety of care.
But this advice is ignored. According to ministers, there is no other option to solve the national shortage of dentists.
Not at the expense of quality
Several universities (University of Amsterdam, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, University of Groningen and Radboud University) and the Professional Association of Dentists (KNMT) described the decision as “worrying and disappointing”. “The importance of training enough dentists should come first, but it should never be at the expense of quality training,” says KNMT’s Jock Quackman.
“We need to train dentists who can start working right away, which is why those six years of training are really essential.”
Henry Lohr, on behalf of the universities: “It is incredible that, especially at this time, when there are great concerns about access to oral care, the solution is to restrict and thus degrade dental training.”
RTL Nieuws previously spoke with experts about the plan to shorten training. It seemed like a bad plan at the time. “It is opportunistic, unfeasible and unsustainable.”
There will be a need for a huge number of dentists in the coming years. About 220 students now graduate from the College of Dentistry each year, but many more dentists will retire in the coming years. It is expected that 41.5 percent of the approximately 10,000 dentists in our country will go out of practice in the next 10 years.
There are currently 243 training places. That should be 375, says the Capacity Authority, which advises Cabinet on the number of places needed for various medical training courses. But the government is not interested in this expansion because of the costs.
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