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Some of those in attendance at the conference.

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President of the Barbados Dental Association (BDA), Dr. Vidya Armogan.

Standards needed


THE Ministry of Health is being urged to ensure that those delivering dental and medical care to the population maintain a certain standard of care.
The call has come from President of the Barbados Dental Association (BDA), Dr. Vidya Armogan. He was speaking yesterday morning at the opening ceremony of the Caribbean Dental Programme conference at Accra Beach Hotel, under the theme ‘The Business of Dentistry’.
“With economics driving single markets in CARICOM, we have to ensure that our citizens are protected by the provision of proper dental and medical care. As such, a regional examination would be ideal for each of our professions. This should at least ensure that the multitude of offshore schools in the region don’t end up dumping unqualified people onto our populous,” he said.
With that in mind, he cautioned against the idea put forward by hygienists in recent years, to have offices independent of dentists, suggesting that such a separation would not be of benefit to the patients.
“I strongly feel that really the team is what is important in dentistry, that is what has gotten us where we are,” Armogan said.
He made the comments as he again pressed Government to remove duties and taxes on all dental and medical equipment and supplies. The BDA president explained that each year the cost of supplies goes up, as does the cost of utilities and taxes, which he lamented can only have one consequence, an increase in the cost of the health care to the public.
“I am thrilled to note the recent dramatic drop in duties on cement and our Government’s concern with getting our citizens out of wooden houses and into brick houses… I can only hope that they are equally concerned with the health of all of our citizens, and look forward to the abolition of duties and VAT on dental and medical supplies and equipment,” he said.
The local dentist is confident that the elimination of value added tax and duties for the health sector is achievable. As such, he said the BDA would welcome an opportunity to meet with officials within the Ministry of Health to discuss how such a goal can be achieved before the country celebrates its 50th Anniversary of Independence later this year. (JRT)

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