Dental treatment is popular with medical tourists to Malaysia, but quality has been an issue. New dental regulation from the Ministry of Health effective January 1, 2022 will make it safer for dental tourists to the country.
New regulations under the Dental Act 2018 (Act 804) provide for the establishment of the Malaysian Dental Council (MDC) and the Malaysian Board of Dental Therapists, the inclusion of the register for dental specialists and dental therapists, as well as new rules on dental practice which were not covered in the old Dental Act 1971 (Act 51).
The new Act, which contains nine parts and 104 sections, requires only qualified, competent, and registered practitioners to provide dental services. It is hoped with this Act that the quality of dental services and patient safety are guaranteed, which should increase the public’s overall confidence and trust in dental services.
One of the new provisions in the Dental Act 2018 is the introduction of the Professional Qualifying Examination as part of the registration process for dentists, dental specialists, and dental therapists. Other new additions in the Act include points collection for continuing professional development (CPD) and professional indemnity cover for a practising certificate application and enforcement in dental practice.
All dental graduates who wish to register with the MDC must pass the Professional Qualification Examination. Existing dentists can register with MDC without the need to sit for the Professional Qualification Examination. Only a dentist who is registered with MDC can perform dental services in public or private healthcare. Dentists with a postgraduate qualification approved by MDC may apply to be registered as a dental specialist in any 12 dental specialist fields beginning from February 2022.
The Act also stipulates that legal action can be taken against dental practices that do not comply with the provisions of the Act, especially the practice of illegal dentistry.
The Malaysian Dental Association has welcomed the Dental Regulations that were gazetted on December 7, 2021. It said the Dental Act 2018 will now confer more authority upon enforcement officers in curbing illegal dentistry to safeguard the general public.