Third Workshop on drafting National Oral Health Policy
The third and the final workshop for drafting of National Oral Health Policy was held on 18th -19th March 2019 at the Centre for Dental Education and Research, AIIMS, New Delhi. The committee constituted by the delegates from Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, technical experts from distinguished institutions across the nation and representatives from professional bodies including the Indian Dental Association attended the meeting.
Prof. OP Kharbanda, Chief, CDER welcomed and addressed the gathering. During his address he emphasized on the significance of oral health in overall health. He suggested that affordability, accessibility and sustainability are the pillars of oral healthcare and emphasized on essential oral hygiene practices like tooth brushing and mouth rinsing. He proposed an agenda on integration of oral health with overall health, affordable oral health care, cost effective oral hygiene products, public awareness on oral health, importance of prevention and the need for translational research in oral health.
Prof. VK Paul, Member, NITI Aayog graced the occasion as the Chief Guest of the workshop. He advocated to emphasize on alarmist approach and advised following inclusions during drafting of National Oral Health Policy. “Emphasis on prevention, development of five key messages on oral health to be universally followed among healthcare professionals, measurable and realistic targets in alignment with National Health Policy 2017, linkages to secondary and tertiary care, standard treatment protocols for uniformity in oral healthcare delivery, integration of policy into the existing framework of Ayushman Bharat and PM- JAY, targeted expenditure and Cost To Treat analyses, data generation and analytics on the current burden of oral diseases in India and exploring the possibilities of listing oral hygiene products in the essential drug list for ensuring cost cutting and enhancing affordability.
Sh. Sudhir Kumar Joint Secretary, MoHFWhighlighted key points to gather administrative attention to make National Oral Health Policy a reality.
Vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. Harsh Priya, Assistant Professor, CDER,who extended sincere thanks toSh. ZileyVical Singh, Deputy Secretary, MoHFW; Dr. L. Swasticharan, CMO, NOHP and Dr. Akriti Mehta, Consultant, NOHP, MoHFWfor working hand in hand with CDER in all the NOHP activities. She thanked all the dignitaries, participants, organizing committee and supporting staff of the AIIMS. The inaugural session was concluded by a group photograph and national anthem.
Drafting of Oral Health Policy:
Dr. L Swasticharan CMO, NOHP, MoHFWdelivered a brief overview of the salient features of the policy draft which was subsequently followed by an extensive review of the individual sections of the draft prepared during the previous workshop.
The delegates provided their valuable inputs from the start and subsequently a group of two-three delegates were designated to complete a particular segment of the draft incorporating the inputs received. A consensus was reached to delegate a third party to write the executive summary.
The discussion till the objectives and targets segment of the previous draft was completed on the first day of the workshop. The delegates submitted their respective completed sections of prior to the start of second day.
The brainstorming sessions for drafting national oral health policy started on the second day with utmost zeal and enthusiasm.The remarks by the experts after consensus was reached were considered and simultaneously the changes were made in the final draft.
A greater emphasis throughout the day was laid on inter-ministerial collaborations, capacity building and utilisation of user friendly digital initiatives for oral health promotion.
In addition, the need to urgently reform the dental education system and generate data pertaining to components of oral health care delivery system was also discussed.
The penultimate draft was discussed till the end and appropriate changes were made to complete the final draft.
The workshop was concluded by distribution of participation certificates to the delegates. Prof OP Kharbanda delivered the concluding remarks and applauded the delegates for their active participation throughout the workshop.