FORTY-EIGHT Year 5 dental students from the Faculty of Dentistry (FOD), SEGi University were treated to eye-opening and informative visits to various Health Ministry facilities in Johor, Penang, Kelantan, and Pahang on a five-day tour from Oct 22 until Oct 27 recently.
The visits were aimed at familiarizing them with the oral healthcare programmes and services provided by the Health Ministry throughout Malaysia, including the outreach programmes.
The tours also allowed students to gain a deeper understanding of dental care in community settings as well as the strategies used in clinical outreach programmes and the delivery of dental care in rural areas.
Among some of the facilities visited included primary care clinics, specialist clinics in primary care settings and in hospitals, mobile dental teams, water treatment plants for an insight on water fluoridation, schools/settings for special children and the elderly, Urban and Rural Transformation Centres (UTC and RTC), a private hospital in Penang, armed forces dental services in Pahang, and Orang Asli dental services.
On their return, students presented the knowledge gained on the provision of primary oral healthcare, utilization of oral healthcare services, reasons for, and barriers to, accessing dental services, maintenance of quality in delivering dental service, strategies used by the Ministry of Health to improve oral health and also expressed their opinions regarding the benefits, limitations and constraints and suggestions for improvement, to the Dean.
The visits benefitted the students as it has provided a good overview on the workforce and programmes of the Health Ministry.