Message from the MDA President June 2018

Message from the MDA President June 2018


Dear esteemed MDA members,

Greetings from the council of Malaysian Dental Association ( MDA ). Though belated, allow me to take this opportunity to wish all Muslim colleagues in MDA a Happy and joyous Eid Mubarak. Selamat Hari Raya!

MIDEC 2018


On behalf of the Malaysian Dental Association (MDA) , I am honored and delighted to extend our warmest and most sincere welcome to all honorable guests and friends to the Malaysian International Dental Exhibition & Convention ( MIDEC 2018), to be held in Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre ( KLCC), Kuala Lumpur, 20-22 July 2018.

Rebranded for the fifth year, MIDEC 2018 offers a unique opportunity in hosting a host of top notch international speakers as well as proven local ones to make known the advancement in dentistry, benefiting not only the Malaysians but also our delegates from abroad. Building upon the valuable experiences gained, this premier conference with the theme “Tomorrow’s Dentistry Today “remains an exceptional niche nexus for the dental profession in Malaysia and abroad to access to cutting edge insights, exchange thoughts, and debate issues that have bearing on the profession.

Driven by our commitment in the Continuing Professional Development (CPD), the organizing committee has also taken great measures to ensure the diversity of meaningful and relevant topics. Whilst our focus is on the dental innovation, we recognize that oral health is an important integral part of overall general health. I am convinced that through the quality presentation covering nearly all disciplines of Dentistry in the congress, the impact of oral health on general health will be highlighted and addressed.

In today’s day and age, dental profession in Malaysia challenges to face therapeutic-technological advances, and the need for equal access to oral health treatment for the whole population. Dental caries, gingival infection, malocclusions and oral cancer are pathologies that still put at risk the oral health of a high percentage among the population in the country.

With all the changes occurring in dentistry, as well as in the larger healthcare arena, we must also remain strong in defending our professionalism, dignity and integrity. As provision of affordable quality dental care to the public has emerged as one of the highest objectives for dental professionals, we are duty bound to update and upgrade ourselves for continued professional development, so that we will be able to provide optimum quality and safe care to our patients. In the euphoria of growing another profitable economic sector, we must not forget, and cannot abandon the objective of us choosing our career pathway as we continue to face changing disease patterns, aging populations, escalating cost and need to improve access to quality care to all.

With that in mind, please log on for the online registration before the early bird deadline ends on 22 June 2018:

Malaysian Dental Association (MDA) into the beginning of New Malaysia: Consolidating with the Ministry of Health.

With a tremendous outpouring of support, a new Malaysian government was born on 9 May 2018. The Malaysian Dental Association welcome the efforts of the new government to operate the Ministry of Health based on research, evidence and facts. We take this opportunity to congratulate and welcome YB Dr Dzulkefly Ahmad on his appointment as the Minister of Health.

I hereby share the articles posted recently on MDA Facebook. These articles were contributed by council members for the attention and consideration of our honourable Minister. We look forward to working closely with the new Ministry of Health, to a new era of forward thinking development of our profession in relation to advocacy.

Part 1

The new dental act was finally passed in the Parliament on 4 April 2018, one month before the new Malaysian government was born.

Riding on the broad principle that the scope of practice in Dentistry should be borderless therefore should not be made compartmentalised, and that the oral health care should be holistic, accessible as well as affordable, the Malaysian Dental Association (MDA) was engaged in the drafting of the bill since its inception in 2008. The MDA past presidents and their councils were involved in some significant advocacy and campaigns as well as numerous meetings within and beyond the association, to suit it with the dental landscape.

In collaboration with the relevant stakeholders, we are in the process of heightening public awareness through direct public engagement to educate the public on the issue of Fake Dentistry. To kick start this process, plans were afoot for a community social responsibility project pertaining to this subject and the general public were invited to attend the public talk held in conjunction with the 25th MDA SCIENTIFIC CONVENTION AND TRADE EXHIBITION.

Any limitation in the scope of practice in dentistry might reduce the accessibility of the general public to oral health care services especially in the underserved areas. As such, we appeal to our honourable Health Minister to acknowledge the sentiment in the former Ministry of Health that there shall be No Restrictions and Limitations in the practice of Dentistry. The broad principle that the new dental act is tailored in the best interest of the public hence the best interest of the profession, is always being shared by all relevant agencies.

In the light of this new administration, the membership of MDA hopes that all regulations stipulated under the new dental act will not have undue limitations to the practice of Dentistry, in our vision and mission to provide holistic oral health care services to the public. This is also in tandem with the vision in Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 3 as set out by the United Nation, also known as Agenda 2030.

On another note, the MDA council also hopes that dental practitioners will be given ample time for the enforcement and to comply with the new act and regulations. Application for the Annual Practising Certificate (APC) by dental practitioners must be accompanied by continuing professional development (CPD) and evidence of professional indemnity. Through this regulation, the practitioners are expected to maintain the validity of their expertise through ongoing training throughout the course of their career. They should be protected against legal responsibilities for their action too.

Part 2 ( Article contributed by Dr Siow Ang Yen)

Under the current Dental Act 1971, The MDC, being the statutory body which regulates the practice of Dentistry in the country is structurally a government-controlled council whereby the president of the council is stated to be the Director-General of Health (DG), and the majority of its members are appointed by the Minister of Health.

With the proposal of the new Dental Bill 2017, the previous government has promised dental practitioners a more inclusive council by structurally segmentalizing the composition of council members according to private & public sectors. However, the president of the council still remains by virtue of his office, i.e. the Director-General of Health.

In the Dental Bill 2017, the president of MDC is prescribed with additional authority. Some of the power of the council will then fall under the president in the Dental Bill 2017. Under the Dental Act 1971, the Council has the power to appoint members of the Preliminary Investigation Committee, Medical Review Panel and other committees of the council. However, in the Dental Bill 2017, the appointment of members of Complaints Committee, Preliminary Investigation Committee and Disciplinary Committee have become the power of the president while the only power left of the council is for the appointment of members of the other committees of the council. This over-centralization of power is clearly not in line with the policy of the Pakatan Harapan government.

Furthermore, the Dental Regulation 1976 not only stated that the president of the council shall be the returning officer in the election of council members, but also he has the casting vote should there be an equality of votes. This is a clear conflict of interest as the returning officer in any kind of election should be neutral. Such provision in the Dental Regulation must be amended to avoid misuse of power.

The MDA would like to recommend that, there shall be a separation of power between the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the Malaysian Dental Council. The Director-General of Health should not be over-burdened by being the President of all healthcare professional councils (Malaysian Medical Council, Malaysian Dental Council, Pharmacy Board Malaysia). The MOH shall focus on the government dental healthcare services while leaving the regulation of the dental practitioners to the profession. The MDC composition should be made similar like the Malaysian Bar Council where all positions of the council are elected. Dental practitioners, being professionals, should be regulated by our peers. By having all council positions elected will create an independent statutory body like the Malaysian Bar. This is in line with the manifesto of Pakatan Harapan government who promised institutional reforms for decentralization of power.

Wishlist of SCODOS ( Contributed by Dr Mohd Salman Bin Masri )

  1. We would like to request for a special budget to buy medical assets. Many disposed dental instruments/assets were not replaced since many years ago due to insufficient budgets. It has changed the productivity in many ways. The numbers of clinician have increased by many folds for the past five years resulting in increased demand for new equipment. All dental works need special tools and to keep up with good KPI, we appeal for special allocation so that the facility in dental settings can be upgraded to meet current situation.
  2. The dental service has expanded over the past few years including our dental specialist’s centres. Many newly established specialist clinics was not properly equipped namely, the supporting stuffs, the dental chair, the operating theatre, the dental instruments and the list has go on. It is hope that before a specialist clinic to be set up and declared to public, the minimum prerequisite settings has been ready. This is to make sure that when a specialist is posted to the centre, the service can be carried out without delay due to inadequate facility.
  3. Chances to be promoted to Special Grades (JUSA) for specialists and non-specialists after the introduction of Grade UG56 which meant for specialists only.
  4. Request to create a post for Deputy Director General of Health for Dental Programme
  5. Disproportionate Dentist: auxiliary staffs especially Dental Surgery Assistants in all dental clinics. It is suggested that the creation of posts is based on the latest norm. Further to that, the students of Dental Surgery Assistant courses should be trained with adequate theory and knowledge, i.e pass a minimum standard prior to their practical sessions in dental clinics or hospital based. MOH shouldn’t be the place to teach the trainee theoretically as the dental officers are attached with multiple tasks. The dental surgery assistant students should be fully monitored by the lecturers or trainers from their teaching institutions.
  6. To re-open chances to further study in overseas for master programmes that is available locally for example special needs dentistry.
  7. The centralized contractors (kontrak berpusat) should be monitored on regular basis and the finding should be made transparent. The problems related to the centralized contractors with high dissatisfaction should be review to be fined and termination of contract immediately.
  8. Health prevention and promotion is the bread and butter of healthcare services. We hope that a department for health prevention and promotion is established and comprised of all programmes under ministry of health (medical, dental and pharmacy). This is to create collaboration in all the aspects of health when a prevention and promotion is to be implemented. An allocation for such programme should be separated from allocation for primary care.

Other wishlists ( Article contributed by Dr Chow Kai Foo )

  1. The excessive number of graduates due to the mushrooming of dental schools has resulted in declining standards of training and insufficient vacancies in the ministry to extend meaningful compulsory service to the 1200 or more dental graduates every year.
  2. We hope that the “Skim Peduli Sihat” in the Pakatan Manifesto will include dental treatment.
  3. As healthcare is a vital service to the public, we request that there will be a full exemption of all dental supplies and services from Sales and Services Tax as well as any GST.
  4. We request that the Medical Device Authority review all their registration procedures and fee structure to ensure efficiency and to avoid unnecessary charges that will drive up the cost of healthcare.
  5. Can the ministry please request the PDPA to stop charging dentists and doctors? Dentists and medical doctors are ethically and legally bound to keep their patients’ data confidential and should not fall under the PDPA just like the lawyers.
  6. In the area of healthcare indemnity, we urge that the ministry do a due diligence on the “no fault compensation” model as practiced in New Zealand extremely successfully. It will speed up any compensation to patients for negligence and complaints and keep the indemnity premiums low. This will help tremendously to keep down the cost of healthcare. The initial cost of setting it up may be high but the long term benefits are extremely good.
  7. As for healthcare financing, we urge that we study a neighbouring country’s scheme where everyone is insured for catastrophic health incidents. Other health issues are covered with a healthcare savings scheme which can be topped up privately or publicly and is transferable between immediate family members.
  8. Please look into why certain laws are applicable to the private sector and not the public sector, eg. the PHFSA which we feel is too draconian and should be replaced with a simpler version or even repealed.
  9. In the light of our new administration that welcomes constructive engagement by stakeholders in order to work out the best for the nation, we feel that the recently passed Dental Act 2018 should be re-looked in certain critical areas. The areas include the potential undue restriction of practice, the necessity of dental therapists as opposed to dental hygienists, the micro- management of the profession, the mushrooming of penalties, all of which resulted in a practical 30 page dental act ballooning to a 100 page act. The enforcement procedures seem to be too detailed and can be much simplified and more respectful of our professional self- regulation. There should be no necessity of any OSA here which in the past obstructed open and proactive engagement and the new act is a product of it.
  10. We hope that the licensing procedures for dental clinics can be streamlined to a one stop center and that one APC is sufficient for the whole country.
  11. Excessive consumption of added sugar has been known to be the major cause of dental caries. Today we know that it is a major factor in obesity, diabetes, heart disease, fatty liver disease, kidney failure and many other diseases. We cannot say strongly enough that a strong intelligent campaign to reset our love for sweet food drinks and reduction of sugar in all manufactured foods will go a long way to saving up to RM4 billion a year we spend in public hospitals to treat just the complications associated with diabetes alone. There is a crying need to tackle the scourge of sugar upon the oral and general health of Malaysians who are known as the fattest people in Asia. If I may say so sir, perhaps added sugar may be reclassified as a toxin and as the WHO has alluded, unnecessary for human nutrition.
  12. Please include at least 2 dentists in the Health Advisory Council. The MDA will be happy to second them.
  13. All documents in healthcare need not be under OSA because freedom of information in healthcare will enable proper checks and balance to bring out the best.
  14. Open tender for all acquisitions by the ministry to enable proper economy and avoid graft.

The primary objective of the Malaysian Dental Association is to promote the art and science of dentistry for the benefit of the public. We are confident that the changes suggested will not only be for the fair governance of the profession but ultimately benefit the rakyat.

QUACKERY IN DENTISTRY ( Contributed by Dr Leong Kei Joe)

The issue of illegal dentistry has always been a matter that is of great concern not only to the association but also to the whole dental profession. Members of the association have been following closely all the events and news related to the issue of “quack dentist” performing “so-called dental treatment” on our very own Malaysian citizens. The dental profession at whole is saddened by the apparent lack of awareness of the general public on the seriousness of this matter, with some still resorting to seek dental care from these unregistered (illegal) practitioners.

Illegal dentistry may range from street dentists who offer their “services” such as extractions or false teeth at market place or road side to self-claimed beautician who offers instant dental makeovers in hotel rooms or business outlets. Also equally attractive to the general public is fake braces that are being advertised so widely on the social media. The general public has constitutional rights to seek safe dental treatment from the registered dental surgeons in this country, and the MDA council looks at this matter with utmost seriousness and is obliged to continuously raise the awareness among the general public which is in line with the primary objective of the association: to promote the art and science of Dentistry for the benefit of the public.

Among the many negative impacts of seeking services from illegal dentists include complications that are not only unmanageable by the illegal dentists but rendering the disease even more complicated to treat (often incurring higher cost) or leave irreparable damage. The association welcomes continuous partnership with the New Government through Ministry of Health Malaysia in curbing illegal dentistry, especially through continuous public engagement. The fact that advertising of these illegal practices on the social media is profoundly proliferating clearly indicates that there is more to be done by all relevant stakeholders.

The MDA would like to propose enhancing our current enforcement system so that more of these illegal dentists could be rightfully prosecuted. On this note, the MDA would also like to propose putting a complete stop on the online purchase of unregistered dental instruments and materials so that these dental materials and instrument will not be made available to the illegal dentists.

Dentistry has progressed a long way in the last century and it is one of the most respected professions. It is incumbent upon dentists everywhere, to protect that hard-earned reputation by weeding out QUACKS!

Dear esteemed MDA members,

Finally, I take pride to announce to you…..

The Private Practitioners’ Section of MDA ( PPS)

The Malaysian Dental Association ( MDA) is a non governmental professional organization with more than 5000 memberships, representing 75% of the dental practitioners both in the public and private sectors. This healthy growth of membership will continue as there is a yearly influx of 1300 dental graduates in average into the Malaysian market, out of which half are the graduates from 13 local dental schools.

This uptrend number of dental graduates inevitably increases the number of general practitioners continuing their career journey in the private sector upon completion of the compulsory service in the public sector. Some may stay on in the public service with hope of opportunity to seek different career pathway.

For the past 18 years, the practitioners in public sector are well represented with the incorporation of SCODOS under the umbrella body of MDA. In the light of the new regulations and restrictions impacting the practice of Dentistry, the Malaysian Dental Association council strongly feels there is an urgent need for an avenue to hear the voice of private practitioner members. With that in mind, the MDA council aspires to establish a section to represent all members of MDA serving in the private sectors.

The committee held their first inaugural meeting on the 3rd June 2018. Issues related to Fees Schedule under the PHFSA, Dental Regulation 2018, fees splitting and CKAPS were discussed and brainstormed. There are urgent needs to resolve all the above teething issues that affect private practitioners as there were inconsistencies in the implementation of the regulations.

The committee is committed to engage fellow members, listen to the grouses and find ways to overcome the many difficulties impacting their practices. The committee also looks forward to gather opinions, suggestions and feedback from concerned members. After all, the Malaysian Dental Association is here to assist and serve her esteemed members.

The MDA council strongly feels that the presence of MDA PPS and the synergy between SCODOS and MDA PPS will bring MDA to a higher level of playing field for the benefit of our beloved members.

The list of protem committee members are as follows:

  1. Chairman: Dr Neoh Ein Yau
  2. Deputy chairman: Dr Neoh Leong Seng
  3. Secretary: Dr Dennis Lee
  4. Asst Secretary: Dr Abu Razali Bin Saini
  5. Treasurer: Dr Khairul Anwar
  6. Asst Treasurer: Dr Naseem Banu
  7. Committee:
    • Dr Furdaus Hannapiah
    • Dr Nedunchelian Vengu
    • Dr Adlan Bangi
  8. Representatives from zones:
    • Dr Zeo Lee Wei Xin ( SZ )
    • Dr Ang Lai Choon ( NZ )
    • Dr Chen Yu Nieng ( EZ )
    • Dr Abdul Rashid Hassan ( EZ )

Dr Ng Woan Tyng
Malaysian Dental Association


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