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South Africa (population: 58m) has fewer than 2000 dentists in public service

6 May 2021 2:12 PM
Tags:
Health
Inequality
Public healthcare
dental health
Africa Melane
oral hygiene
Early breakfast
dentists
dental practioner
Bulela Vava
Public Oral Health Forum

"We’re not producing enough dentists," laments Dr. Bulela Vava, founder of the Public Oral Health Forum.

There is a dire shortage of dentists in the public sector.

There are 6374 registered dentists in South Africa, of which fewer than 2000 work in the public sector, despite it servicing the vast majority of the population.

There is a dire shortage of dental practitioners in the public sector in South Africa. © Dmitriy Syechin/123rf.com

Recently published "healthcare" articles:


Africa Melane interviewed Dr. Bulela Vava, founder and interim national chairperson at the Public Oral Health Forum.

Vava lamented South Africa’s “gross underinvestment” in dental health and the dearth of professionals at state clinics.

Oral health… has been on the backburner… gross underinvestment… We’re not producing enough [dentists] … A very low number of oral hygienists and dental therapists are being absorbed by the state…

Dr Bulela Vava, founder - Public Oral Health Forum

We’re the world’s most unequal society… Those who are more affluent… enjoy access to oral healthcare… All our dental schools are in metros… A disproportionate distribution…

Dr Bulela Vava, founder - Public Oral Health Forum

My inbox is inundated with requests from community service dentists who are anxious they won’t be absorbed into public service… There’s a gradual decline… Positions that are vacated aren’t replaced…

Dr Bulela Vava, founder - Public Oral Health Forum

To turn this around… a lot of education has to happen… there’s a poor understanding of the importance and relevance of oral health.

Dr Bulela Vava, founder - Public Oral Health Forum

Listen to the interview in the audio below.




6 May 2021 2:12 PM
Tags:
Health
Inequality
Public healthcare
dental health
Africa Melane
oral hygiene
Early breakfast
dentists
dental practioner
Bulela Vava
Public Oral Health Forum

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