off record
Shaukat Ali Jawaid

Physician pleads the
cause of dentistry

Dentistry in Pakistan has always remained under the shadow of Medicine that is why it has failed to get proper recognition and its due status as a specialty that it deserves. It was quite interesting to see a Physician Prof. Javed Akram Vice Chancellor University of Health Sciences pleading the cause of dentistry. At the same time it is also a point to ponder for the dental profession in Pakistan as it shows their utter failure to project and present their case effectively with the authorities. Hence, decisions about dentistry continue to be taken by those who do not know even the ABC of dentistry. Speaking in the inaugural session of the First International Dental Conference which the UHS had organized at Lahore from October 3-5th 2019, Dentistry Prof. Javed Akram remarked will never get itself proper recognition as a specialty until they have their own independent and autonomous Pakistan Dental Council. At present one or two dentists are made members of the PM&DC and their viewpoint is often ignored, he added.

Incidentally at the same conference President of Pakistan Dr. Arif Alvi who was the chief guest in his inaugural address also referred to the functioning of the PM&DC as well as CPSP. He disclosed that when he returned from USA after getting postgraduate qualifications in dentistry, PM&DC did not recognize them. He also pointed out that many years ago, he had presented the draft of Pakistan Dental Act to the then Prime Minister of Pakistan Mr. Mohammad Khan Junejo but it failed to achieve the desired results as dentistry remained neglected despite the fact that oral health is extremely important. I remember Pakistan Dental Association had also presented the draft of the Pakistan Dental Act to Senator Javed Jabbar who was invited as a chief guest at the PDA conference many years ago.

The above is all history and now it is nobody else than Dr.Arif Alvi himself who is occupying the most important coveted post of President of Pakistan and it is the Government of his own party. Hence it is the most appropriate time for the dentists to ensure that they have a Dental Council of their own which can work for the promotion of dentistry as an important specialty of medicine. Dr. Arif Alvi has to prove it that Dentistry remains his first love and first choice. If he fails to convince his own party Government the efficacy of an independent autonomous Pakistan Dental Council, the honourable course left for him will be to resign and come home. Presidency has seen many tenants who occupy this building for some time and then a new tenant comes in. He is not going to remain President of Pakistan for all times to come and let him not carry the stigma with him that he failed to plead the cause of dentistry which he claims was his first love being the first choice. He has to demonstrate that dentistry is more important to him than the perks and priviliges which the office of President of Pakistan brings with it. It of course needs a proper legislation which is not possible without the support of opposition in the parliament. Hence, let them realize that enough is enough. Stop the character assassination of the opposition leaders in the media and stop the engineered cases against them. Realize their importance and give them due respect. Seek their help and assistance in legislation which is the only way we as a country can move forward, otherwise we will neither have political stability nor any economic development. The government has already wasted lot of time, hence let them see the writing on the wall, realize its mistakes and take remedial measures before it is too late.

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