BHUBANESWAR: In a move that would give a huge boost to efforts towards promotion of oral hygiene and prevention of various diseases including oral cancer, the State Government on Monday appointed 151 dental surgeons across the peripheral institutions down to Community Health Centres (CHCs).
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik handed over the appointment letters to the new recruits, who would mainly be appointed in the KBK, KBK Plus districts and tribal sub-plan areas. Of the total, 110 dental surgeons will be posted at different health institutions in the above regions.
“This is for the first time that the State Government has posted such a large number of dental surgeons. All the sanctioned posts of KBK, KBK Plus districts and tribal sub-plan areas have been filled up in the process. These doctors in the remotest parts will play a key role in promoting oral hygiene and fighting diseases along with implementation of Rashtriya Bal Swasthya Karyakrama by sensitising school children on oral health,” Patnaik said.
Earlier, there were a mere 33 sanctioned posts of dental surgeons in the State, who were mostly rendering services at the district headquarters hospitals (DHHs). The Government had created 200 more posts and 151 dental surgeons were selected through Odisha Public Service Commission (OPSC). Of the number, 20 would be placed in DHHs, 26 in sub-divisional hospitals and 105 in community health centres, Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said.
The Minister said along with appointment of doctors, efforts have been stepped up to infuse required infrastructure and equipment in the hospitals. Dental wings have already been opened at the health centres and equipment procured by Odisha State Medical Corporation (OSMC), he said.
The move will give a fillip to strengthening of oral health programmes and initiatives at the grassroots level.
Oral health and hygiene have been a neglected sector even as Odisha tops in incidence of serious diseases like oral cancer, thanks to rampant use of tobacco.
Posting of dental surgeons at the grassroots will not only boost early detection of oral cancers, thereby saving many lives, but also help prevent many other diseases.
The doctors will also lead community education and screening programmes at their level, Nayak said.