PUTRAJAYA: With only 33 orthodontists in government dental facilities, the Health Ministry has opened its doors for those in the private sector to work in its facilities nationwide. Director-general of Health Tan Sri Dr Ismail Merican said the 71 private orthodontists could serve at the ministry's dental facilities and would be paid the same rates offered to private practitioners and specialists.
Private doctors and specialists are paid between RM80 and RM120 an hour in government hospitals or clinics. They work during normal working hours from 8am to 5pm, or from 5pm to 9.30pm from Mondays to Fridays and from 8am till noon on Saturdays.
Shocked at knowing there were only 117 orthodontists for Malaysia's population, he said local medical universities should look into offering programmes to churn out more. Only Universiti Malaya and Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia are offering courses but they are said to have problems getting competent trainers. Besides the 33 working in the ministry's dental facilities, three others are serving the Ministry of Defence and 10 in universities.
Currently, there is only one orthodontist per 241,738 of the population. The nation needs another 70 for a ratio of 1:100,000 population.
To get more Malaysians to specialise in the field, the Malaysian Association of Orthodontists (MAO) will host its 16th MAO International Scientific Conference and Trade Exhibition on April 24-26 in Kuching. MAO president Dr Noraini Alwi said the organisation was working together with the ministry to educate the public on the orthodontic specialty. The MAO, she added, has also embarked on "The Laila Taib Smile of Hope Project" where they would give free orthodontic treatment for 10 orphans with RM100,000 provided by the Sarawak government.
"We hope to provide this free treatment to another 20 orphans next year with donations from corporations and individuals," she added.
p/s: abah told me to read this. my roommate who used to wear braces ask me to become one.. InsyaAllah..