Speech by Mr Gan Kim Yong, Minister for Health, at Singapore Dental Council Dentist's Pledge Affirmation Ceremony 2015

Professor Chew Chong Lin, President, Singapore Dental Council

Distinguished Guests

Newly Registered Dentists and family members

Ladies and Gentlemen

1.              I am happy to join you here today to mark this important milestone in your careers as dentists.

2.              Today, you will be taking the Dentist’s Pledge. For most of you, this marks your transition from the rigorous demands of training in Dental School into your chosen profession as Dental Surgeons in Singapore.

3.              The practice of Dentistry is a high calling. As dentists, you are entrusted to draw from evidence-based practices to deliver the most appropriate treatment for your patients to the best of your abilities. You should practise with care and compassion and always place the interests of your patients above your own.

4.              The Pledge signifies your commitment to uphold the values essential to the dental profession – integrity, honesty, care and compassion. The solemn promises you make today must become a steady compass to guide your decisions and conduct.

Ethical Code and Guidelines

5.              Let me highlight the importance of maintaining the high professional standards in the practice of dentistry.

6.              Over the past few years, the Ministry has put in place measures to ensure that dental services continue to be affordable and accessible. For example, the Community Health Assist Scheme (CHAS) enables middle to lower income Singapore Citizens to receive subsidies for medical care and dental services at participating private clinics near their homes. Since September last year, we have also honoured our Pioneer Generation by extending additional healthcare subsidies to them, including special CHAS benefits.

7.              For patients to benefit from these schemes, we need the support of the doctors and dentists in the community to provide appropriate care and keep charges reasonable.

8.              As you take your pledge today, I urge you to also take to heart the Singapore Dental Council’s ethical code and guidelines, so that you will practise with high standards in clinical care and professional conduct necessary to uphold the repute of your profession.

CONTINUING PROFESSIONAL EDUCATION

9.              As you embark on your dental careers, you will realise that the science of Dentistry is ever-changing with evolving new technologies, materials and techniques. 

10.          What you have learnt in dental school must be constantly updated with the latest in evidence-based care so that you can maintain your competency with high professional practice standards.  Hence, since 2005, the Dental Council has made it mandatory for dentists to attain Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training hours within a 2-year qualifying period before they can renew their practicing license.

11.          I encourage all of you to continue a culture of learning and sharing, with active clinical discussions and peer feedback, so that individually and together as a profession, the standard of dentistry will continue to improve for the benefit of our patients. 

CONCLUSION

12.          I am sure you are all looking forward to an exciting career in Dentistry. Wherever you practise, I urge you to remain true to the Dentist’s Pledge and values.

13.          Let me end by conveying my heartiest congratulations to our newly registered dentists. I wish all of you a successful and fulfilling career.

14.          Thank you.

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