An online petition has been launched calling on the government to guarantee all graduates from UK dental schools a Dental Foundation Training (DFT) place.
The Government e-petition has been founded by Dr Martin Nimmo, chairman of the BDA’s Young Dentists Committee.
The petition argues that the failure to allocate DFR places to UK graduates is unfair to graduates who have taken on significant amount of debt to complete their studies, and wastes taxpayers’ money invested in their training, because denying a DFT place means they are prevented from providing NHS treatment.
The petition comes in the wake of a Department of Health report which said 35 dental graduates from the class of 2011 hadn’t been offered a DFT place – at a cost of £150,000 each to the taxpayer for training.
Dr Nimmo said: “It is perverse that students who have strived hard to pursue a career in NHS care are being denied the training places they need to fulfil that ambition. This is a significant waste of taxpayers’ money, and a tragedy for the graduates who have taken on large amounts of debt in pursuing their vocation. Given that there are some areas of the UK where patients who wish to access NHS care cannot do so, it is also nonsensical.
“I urge all current and potential members of the profession, and taxpayers, to join young dentists in calling for a guarantee that this farcical situation will never be allowed to happen again.”