Dear beloved members and colleagues,
Greetings from the Malaysian Dental Association.
At this point of time, I suppose many of us, just like myself, are waiting and hoping. We are all eagerly awaiting on the announcement of the current Conditional – Movement Control Order, what will be announced, what are the amendments in the Standard Operating Procedures, a term that we now hear so often that even the lay person knows what is SOPs. As eager as most of us want to return back to our “ old normal” lives, we just can’t help but need to be patient and adapt ourselves to this “new normal” as a way of living in time to come. Scanning through the social media to keep ourselves updated on the figures related to COVID-19, news on new clusters and so on, has now been a “new “routine to most of us. At the dental fraternity, we can still safely say that there has not been any reported cases of COVID-19 transmission from our dental patients. I suppose, it boils down to the fact that dental practitioners practices good universal precaution way back, a long, long time ago, even before we faced with SARS. Our knowledge on aerosol generating procedures in the dental setting is not new, and the need to put on PPEs is not new. With the heightened and tightened measures in our SOPs, I trust we will all be able to continue to practice dentistry safely. In fact, the latest guideline released by Oral Health Program, Ministry of Health Malaysia on the 18th November 2020, clearly states that, there should be no restriction of dental services based on COVID-19 zoning but rather based on the risk status of the patient. In a nutshell, only emergency dental care at designated facilities is to be provided for individuals who are at “high risk” status, such those categorised as “suspected case”, “probable case”, “person under surveillance” and “positive case”. For this matter, it is important that those at the reception to request patients to show their risk status in the mySejahtera app. Of course, it is still important for them to honestly enter the usual health declaration as what we have been doing since the start of the pandemic. The need to have all our dental patients to undergo COVID-19 swab test is still debatable, although, it has indeed come to my knowledge that some clinics are actually adopting this move. Anyway, even if the COVID-19 vaccine is made available, I strongly believe that we, as dental practitioners, need to continue to always be on our guard, just as how we have been doing all these while, for we will never know, when the world will be hit with another “new bug”.
In this message too, I wish to update some of the activities the Association in these last two calendar months of 2020. As you are all aware, when the Conditional – Movement Control Order was implemented back in Selangor recently, our secretariat staffs are currently working from home and only return to Wisma MDA when there is a need. Nevertheless, the daily operating business of the Association remains and our staff are still contactable (please kindly refer to our Homepage for further details).
We are still preparing for the upcoming 28th MDA Scientific Convention and Trade Exhibition 2021, to be held at Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre from 29th – 31st January 2021. Indeed, the committee is strategically planning this event in this time of uncertainty due to the fluidity of the outbreak of COVID-19 in Malaysia. The committee is constantly on the toes and in fact this is the most challenging convention ever organised. The organising committee will constantly update the dental fraternity on the development of this event. In the meantime, we need your understanding and support.
In line with the need for Continuous Professional Development activities, MDA, in collaboration with Ivoclar Vivadent, has successfully organised a series of webinars. Prof. Dr. Danimir Jevremovic spoke on the following topics recently:
- Preparation Technique for Metal Free Crowns And Veneers
- Adhesive Cementation – From A to Z Wednesday, 4 November 2020
- Welcome To Digital Dentistry
In fact, there will also be another webinar coming up under this collaboration and we hope that all of you will mark this in your calendar:
13th November 2020. As one of the Global Supporters of World Oral Heath Day, 3M (Malaysia) has already started engaging MDA to plan for activities leading up to World Oral Health Day celebration in Malaysia for 2021. In fact, as with the year 2020, MDA plans to have activities throughout the year of 2021 to keep the message and the spirit of WOHD constantly being made aware among the community. The theme for next year’s celebration is “Be Proud of Your Mouth”.
In the month of November 2020, MDA has participated in 2 very important meetings which are policy making matters and will ultimately determine the future of dental service in Malaysia:
1. Executive Committee of National Oral Health Plan 2021 – 2030. This virtual meeting, part of a series of meetings held earlier, was held on the 19th November 2020 and was attended by Dr Sharon Tay Hui Wen, council member of MDA from Northern Zone. Among some of the pertinent matters that required views and comments from MDA include:
- Increasing the level of awareness of dento-legal matters among practitioners.
- Digitalisation of oral health data through Electronic Medical Record.
- Utilisation of services with children population to be visited by both public and private sectors
2. Workshop on development of White Paper for National Oral Health Policy. This was attended by Dr Neoh Ein Yau and Dr Dennis Lee Chin Sze from MDA Private Practitioners Section (MDA PPS)
Henceforth, dental services in the next decade to come will very much be determined by the efforts put in by the various stakeholders. It is the planning of today to determine the model of dental health care of the future. I urge all dental practitioners to be constantly updated, “stay awake”, to share your views, comments and ideas with us. It is not only for us now, but also for our “to-be” colleagues and most of all, for our Rakyat!
In the meantime, stay healthy, stay on-guard, and stay safe. Last but not least, as we all approach the end of the year 2020, on behalf of the Council Members of MDA, I wish all of you “Blessed Christmas” and a “Happy New Year 2021”.
Yours in MDA,
Kei Joe LEONG