Brushed aside? Dental council has no data on oral health expenditure!

AIDSA submitted an application under RTI Act, seeking information on the budgetary allocation and preventive measures taken for dental healthcare.

BySumit Jha

Published Apr 17, 2024 | 12:03 PMUpdatedApr 17, 2024 | 9:17 PM

All India Dental Students and Surgeons Association urged all political parties to add dental care a part of their election manifestos.

The Dental Council of India has no data on the country’s priority and expenditure on dental health, an official response to an RTI application said.

In March, the All India Dental Students and Surgeons Association applied under the Right to Information (RTI) Act for information on the budget allocation from 2014 to 2024 and preventive measures the Ministry of Health has initiated for dental care in the country.

The Association asked for total budgetary allocation for dental care for the current fiscal year, specifying the amounts earmarked for dental healthcare, including preventive measures, treatment services, infrastructure development, education and training, research, and other relevant areas.

Details of the ministry’s specific preventive measures or initiatives to improve dental health awareness, access to dental services, and adoption of preventive dental practices among the general public were also sought.

Additionally, the Association requested data or reports on the effectiveness of measures in reducing the prevalence of dental diseases and promoting oral health at the national level.

“No such data is available in the records of the Dental Council of India,” the body under the Ministry of Health replied.

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Neglected oral healthcare

All India Dental Students and Surgeons Association president Dr Md Manzur Ahmed said the response reflected a serious neglect of oral healthcare.

“As an organisation representing the interests of dental professionals and students, we are keen to understand the government’s efforts and investments in promoting oral health and preventing dental diseases among the population,” he said.

He added that it was disheartening that the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare did not provide the data.

“The response by the Dental Council of India, which also lacked pertinent information, underscores a severe neglect of oral healthcare,” Dr Ahmed opined.

“This lack of transparency and accountability in both government bodies is unacceptable and reflects poorly on the prioritisation of oral health by the Indian government,” he added.

The Association urged all political parties to prioritise oral healthcare in their manifestos.

(Edited by Majnu Babu).