Oral health students from Sefako Makgatho Health Sciences University in Pretoria marched to the health department on Monday and demanded that they be used for community service so that they can complete their compulsory training.
Oral Health Science School chairman Phuluso Semata said the march was linked to the national health ministry’s “ongoing refusal” to provide an opportunity for community services for oral hygienists and dental therapists.
“The National Ministry of Health’s continued refusal to provide nonprofit services to the above professions is a direct denial of the right for anyone in the republic to have access to health services,” he said .
The graduates wore gowns, clinical gowns and face masks, marched, sang and sang battle songs.
Semata read out her memorandum and said the department needs to ensure it is urgently working with all relevant stakeholders and student leaders across the country to ensure that every dentist, not just dentist, has the right to equal protection and benefit under the law. < / p>
The students also demanded that the department declare the alleged exclusion of oral hygienists and therapists from community service.
“We believe that oral hygienists and dental therapists treat the same and will not be unfairly discriminated against on the basis of their qualifications, “said he does not know where he will work next year if he needs a placement.
” I should be placed, but there is no way for dental work and oral hygiene students to be taught, ”he said.
The 28-year-old said it was devastating just to find out in your life In our last year you are “not as important” as dentists.
“It was a shock when I was accepted into the program to realize that there is segregation and discrimination . It’s a dentistry qualification designed to support peripheral communities, “he said.
” We have found that there is segregation in the field of dentistry, there are people who earn ‘more’ than others. Therefore, the government has reserved government posts for dentists for those who have done oral hygiene and dental therapy.
“We are here to say that it is not fair that we are treated as less citizens than others in the same industry. We tell them to hear our voice, we are important too. “
Semata formulated their request lists and said they would like the department to” represent why we are dentists in have higher positions ”. running our affairs while we have highly trained and influential oral hygienists and dental therapists who can be appointed at the board level to look after our affairs. ”
They took issue with them too the “appalling” reward among professionals and wanted a statement from the department.
Semata said the department should encourage relevant colleges to do its job of training more oral hygienists and Dental Therapists
The students said the department needs to respond to their requests within 10 working days, adding that they are open to engagement.
Receiving the memorandum, Advocate Maile Ngake, Head of Health Sector Bargaining and Stakeholder Engagement, said he would ensure the Minister receives the memorandum.
< span> “I am receiving this memorandum order on behalf of the minister. I will ensure that the minister receives the memorandum and that, according to the proposed reply date, we endeavor to ensure that your reply is taken into account, ”he said.
Ravele Ndamulelo, Another senior year dentist, said, “Our problem is that our degree is community based to serve the community, but when we graduate the department doesn’t do anything, we just get our degree and leave. We have no job security. We say we want community service. ”