Dentists Act consultation results published

Seven-week consultation produces 125 responses

The results of the consultation on new legislation to replace the 1985 Dentists Act have been published by the Department of Health.

The seven-week consultation process produced 125 submissions from dental professionals, dental organisations and representational bodies, institutions, the HSE and other government departments.

The majority of respondents (71 per cent) were in favour of fitness to practise (FtP) provisions being updated in the new legislation, with 78 per cent being also agreeing with the notion that the new Act should provide for the resolution of complaints by mediation.

On the question of Continuing Professional Development (CPD), 85 per cent were of the view that dentists should have to maintain their own professional competence, with 80 per cent agreeing that the Dental Council should require a dentist who fails to demonstrate competence to attend a course or take other steps to satisfy the Council of his/her competence.

In terms of establishing a mandatory register for all auxiliary dental professionals (ADPs), the majority of respondents were in agreement. When it came to whether ADPs should be subject to FtP, 67 per cent were in agreement, with 18 per cent believing only some ADPs should be subject. The consultation also found that 77 per cent thought that the Dental Council should regulate ADPs and 82 per cent believing that they should be subject to CPD requirements.

However, there was a mixed response when it came to the question of independent ADPs, with 54 per cent supporting the provision and 29 per cent opposed. Other areas covered included the scope and size of the Dental Council and the regulation of dental practices/premises.

To read the report in full, visit www.dohc.ie