General Laboratory Manager at the Microdental Laboratory in Hamilton, Canada, Eleanor Racine greets Professor Senator Henry Fraser as, from left, General Laboratory Manager, also at the Microdental Laboratory, Davide Dissegna; Parliamentary Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs, Jepter Ince; Chairman of the Caribbean Dental Programme (CDP), Dr. Victor Eastmond and President of the Barbados Dental Association (BDA), Dr. Vidya Armogan look on.

‘Continuing education for dentists should be mandatory’

Currently, dentists do not need to engage in continuing education in order to be registered, and Chairman of the Caribbean Dental Programme (CDP), Dr. Victor Eastmond, is calling for legislation to be enacted to rectify this state of affairs.

He quoted statements from both the Minister of Labour and Social Security, Senator Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo, as well as Executive Director of the Barbados Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Council, Henderson Eastmond, to emphasise his point.

“I would like to add a few recent quotes from our local media. First, a statement in the print media on March 13, 2017 by our Minister of Labour, Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo, where she stated, ‘People who left school 20, 30, 40 years ago need to continue to learn because the world is changing and the world of work is also changing. If we are not careful, as systems change in the workplace and become more automated and bring new processes and if we are not willing to learn and adapt, we will find ourselves on the breadline and can no longer fit into the organisation.’ And a quote from a front page article on March 19, 2017, which was made by Mr. Henderson Eastmond who heads TVET, stated: ‘A country is as good as its education and training provision and what has worked for us over the last 40 years will not work for us now.’”

Eastmond further pointed out that, “Those comments reinforce what I said at last year’s Opening Ceremony in relation to having continuing education as a pre-requisite for registration to practice within Barbados. Practitioners should attend a limited number of CE hours to maintain the profession’s highest standards and quality of work. I know from a recent meeting with our Minister of Health that he also is of like mind and like our Minister of Labour and the Head of TVET, I believe that continuing education should be a part of a lifelong continuum of learning within our profession.”

Delivering remarks at the CDP Opening Ceremony on Tuesday evening, he said that this would serve to ensure that the highest standards within the profession are maintained.

“This requirement is almost universal but I am disappointed that it is not yet legislated in my country...I have pushed for CE to be compulsory throughout the Caribbean with some positive results and again, I say CE must be a mandatory requirement for re-registration in the future if we are to ensure the very highest standard obtains within this continual dynamic profession to ensure public safety with modern treatment modalities and equipment to our general public,” he added.

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