Dentists unable to practise27th November 2006
Despite much-publicised shortages in the NHS, a group of 100 dentists who trained overseas are having to campaign for the right to work in the UK.
The group, who are all British citizens or residents, were trained outside the European Union and would need to take a qualifying exam through the General Dental Council, but the entrance list has now closed.
Now the campaign group is set to meet dental leaders and MPs to lobby for action.
One member claims to have applied three times without success, while others say the NHS has wasted millions advertising abroad for dentists to come and work in the NHS.
Dentists with degrees from institutions within the European Union are automatically recognised, and those from other institutions are assessed individually.
Dentists who are not nationals of any European Economic Area country, and who qualified outside the EU, have to undertake the three-part International Qualifying Exam (IQE), which takes around 18 months to complete and costs around £2,800.
Applications for the exam increased fourfold between 2003-5 and the GDC said it had increased the number of places available.
Around 1,000 of the 33,000 dentists registered in the UK have undertaken the IQE.
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