National Dental Commission Bill, 2023 Passed by the Parliament

National Dental Commission

National Dental Commission Bill: In a significant step towards enhancing healthcare quality and aligning dental education with global standards, the Parliament has passed the National Dental Commission Bill, 2023. This landmark legislation underscores the government\’s unwavering commitment to ensuring the highest standards of dental care for its citizens.

The National Dental Commission Act 2023, will introduce a groundbreaking regulatory framework by establishing the National Dental Commission (NDC), which will replace the existing Dental Council of India (DCI) and repeal the Dentists Bill, 1948. The Act envisions a complete overhaul of the dental education and profession landscape to bring it on par with international benchmarks. Key features include:

1. Constitution of National Dental Commission and State Dental Councils:The  Act establishes the National Dental Commission and mandates the formation of State Dental Councils or Joint Dental Councils. This structure aims to decentralize authority and enhance effective regulation.

2. Three Autonomous Boards: The Act will empower three distinct Autonomous Boards: the Under-Graduate and Post-Graduate Dental Education Board, the Dental Assessment and Rating Board (DARB), and the Ethics and Dental Registration Board (EDRB). These boards will carry out specific functions, contributing to a comprehensive regulatory framework.

3. Fixed Tenure and Professional Development: The Act will introduce a fixed tenure for the Chairperson, Members, and Secretary of the Commission, with no possibility of reappointment. The NDC will emphasize promotive and preventive dental care services and will focus on fostering the soft skills necessary for career advancement among dentists and dental auxiliaries.

4. Industry Collaboration and Technological Innovation: Recognizing the importance of collaboration and research, the Act will encourage partnerships with industry and institutions to promote advancements in dental research. It also emphasizes the integration of cutting-edge technology into dental education.

5. Online National Register and Dental Advisory Council: The Act will  provide for maintaining an online and live National Register of licensed dentists and dental auxiliaries. Furthermore, it establishes a Dental Advisory Council with representation from all States/Union Territories to ensure comprehensive insights and guidance.

6. Merit-Based Selection Process: Under the Act, the NDC will be led by a \’selected\’ Regulator. This entails the appointment of the NDC Chairman and Members through a merit-based selection process conducted by a Search–cum-Committee chaired by the Cabinet Secretary.

7. Collaborative Approaches: The Act will facilitate joint sittings with relevant statutory bodies, including the National Medical Commission, Pharmacy Council of India, Indian Nursing Council, National Commission for Indian System of Medicine, National Commission for Homeopathy, and National Commission for Allied and Healthcare Professions.

8. Fee Regulation and Constitutions: The Act will empower the Commission to frame guidelines for fee determination for fifty percent of seats in private dental colleges and deemed Universities. Additionally, within a year of the Act’s commencement, all State governments will establish State Dental Councils or Joint Dental Councils.

The National Dental Commission Act 2023, is poised to usher in vital regulatory reforms in the dental education sector. It champions transparency, accountability, and professionalism to safeguard the interests of the public. By promoting affordable oral healthcare availability and boosting the employability of Indian dental professionals globally, the Commission is set to enhance both domestic and international dental care standards.