“They come together to raise their voice against corruption that has plagued dental healthcare in the country”
With Dental Council of India (DCI) going the Medical Council of India (MCI) way in terms of corruption, hundreds of dentists on Wednesday approached the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and urged it to intervene in issues plaguing dental education in the country.
Claiming that for the past several years dental healthcare and education in the country is witnessing a heavy downturn, dentists said that there is an urgent need of intervention by the ministry.
“Corruption is prevailing in dental education in India. When it comes to inspection or opening of a dental college, an orchestrated maneuver is being followed by a select coterie. Inspectors manipulating reports, pass them in executive committees and many times send recommendations without the approval of the general body, which is mandatory as per law. If the institutions do not oblige, they are subjected to harassment. Favours are obtained in several forms, besides pecuniary benefits. Despite several CBI cases, corruption thrives unabated,” said Dr. G Rathinakumar, a dentist.
“Capitation fee, though banned, is still imposed on students. Capitation fee is the mother and source of strength for corruption. Ingenious ways are invented to overlook NEET and some institutions have already taken capitation fee for the upcoming academic year,” he said.
The dentists who reached Jantar Mantar in the national capital from all across the country to protest against corruption in DCI have alleged that the government is not scrutinizing the election and nomination of members to the council as mandated. “A lot of members are accepted illegally from State Dental Tribunals which are invalid today,” said Dr. JM Jeyaraj, a dentist from Tamil Nadu.
The group of dentists has demanded the Union Health Ministry to expedite all corruption cases and to eliminate illegal members of the council. “The central government should validate all elected and nominated members as per the Dentist Act and DCI election rules 1952 and notify them. The ministry should expel Dr. Mazumdar and entrust the council’s vice president to act as president till fresh elections are held,” said Dr. Jeyaraj.
Alleging rampant corruption in DCI, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) named council’s president, Dr. Dibyendu Mazumdar, and former secretary Dr. SK Ojha among others in a FIR registered last month. Dr. Mazumdar is facing charges of alleged irregularities, including receiving pecuniary benefits from private colleges in return for an increase in a number of BDS/MDS seats. “We are investigating the matter of Dr. Mazumdar. We are also looking into other issues,” said Arun Singhal, Joint Secretary, Union Health Ministry.