The requirements that the University of Helsinki's Faculty of Medicine sets for dentists specialising in oral and maxillofacial surgery are contrary to the Specialist Dentist Decree, Deputy-Ombudsman Jussi Pajuoja points out.
The faculty requires those specialising in oral and maxillofacial surgery to have the basic qualifications of both a dentist and a doctor. However, the Specialist Dentist Decree does not require a qualification in general medicine. According to the Ministry of Education and Culture, obtaining two basic degrees does not even accord with a modern university policy.
Special training should be made uniform in the country's universities
The Deputy-Ombudsman has urged the Ministry of Education and Culture to put specialisation training in oral and maxillofacial surgery in four of the country's universities on a uniform basis. In his view, the Ministry could in fact have intervened already earlier in differences between specialisation training for dentists in various localities.
With its requirement of two basic degrees, the University of Helsinki's specialisation training in oral and maxillofacial surgery deviates from the equivalent training in Turku, Oulu or Kuopio. In the latter places, dentists receive complementary training in medicine.
Those specialising in oral and maxillofacial surgery are in an unequal position also in the respect that in places other than the University of Helsinki training takes place within the framework of a salaried position throughout.
The differences notwithstanding, the National Supervisory Authority for Welfare and Health Valvira approves, on an equal basis, physicians specialising in oral and maxillofacial surgery irrespective of which training programme they qualify through.
The Deputy-Ombudsman has recommended also that the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health take his stance on uniformising training into consideration when a working group at the Ministry is studying a national overhaul of specialist phyician training by the end of 2010.
Additional info will be provided by Senior Legal Adviser Jorma Kuopus, tel. +358 (0)9 4321.