UWC train military dental specialists
UWC’s Faculty of Dentistry and the South African Medical Health Sciences (SAMHS) have signed a historic agreement to train dental specialists to service the South African National Defence Force personnel and their dependants.
The specialist training is a four-year full-time programme where the incumbent is in a Registrar/Clinical Assistant's post. On successful completion, the dental officer will receive the M.ChD degree and will be registered with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as a specialist.
The residing venue for the fulfilment post will be established on Military premises and the selection of the candidate is based on the recommendation of the Surgeon-General of the SAMHS. The candidate will be contractually bound to the Military to provide a period of service equal to the period of training after qualifying as a specialist.
The first candidate in this programme is Major (Dr) Leeron Walton, a dentist employed by the SAMHS who will undergo training over a four-year period in Orthodontics. Negotiations are underway to take on a second candidate in Prosthodontics in February 2016.
“It is important that Military personnel are fit (physically and as regards oral health) because they are often deployed for months to remote areas of the country and the continent,” commented
Professor Yusuf Osman, Dean of the Faculty of Dentistry. To serve the oral health needs of these personnel and their dependents, Osman explained, the Military employ its own dentists. However, specialist oral health services for these personnel and their dependents is outsourced to the private sector, especially in the Western Cape, and costs the Military millions of rands.
Osman noted that the agreement will be reviewed in two years to see if the Faculty can accommodate more dentists from the Military for specialist training. “The importance of this agreement is the fact that the Dental Faculty at the University of the Western Cape was chosen as the partner to train these Specialists.”