Recent figures disclose the waiting list backlog for the Overseas Registration Exam (ORE) has had an upsurge of thirty-five per cent, compared to the previous year.
Obtained by Dental Protection via Freedom of Information, discoveries convey that 1,502 dental practitioners applied to take the ORE in April 2022, including 1,271 for the first part of the exam and 231 for the second part. In comparison, the amount of dentists who were waiting to take the exam in April 2021 was 1,112, which is a 35% increase in one year.
“Figures reveal the waiting list backlog for the ORE has increased by 35%.“
Deputy dental director and underwriting policy lead at Dental Protection, Yvonne Shaw, stated: “This exam backlog comes at the worst possible time. We are seeing public dissatisfaction due to the huge NHS and private treatment backlog. There’s also reports of thousands of dentists quitting the NHS. Now, more than ever, the process by which overseas graduates are being assessed in order to register and practise in the UK, must be fair and efficient. In addition, the longer it takes dentists who qualified overseas to complete the ORE, the longer they could be away from clinical practice. This risks deskilling which, considering the high-pressure workforce they will be joining, should be avoided. Time away from practice may also make passing the ORE even more challenging. The current situation is harmful to both dentists and patients. We call on the GDC and DHSC to ensure the backlog is tackled in a timely manner. Whilst it is encouraging that the DHSC is working with the GDC on amending legislation to enable greater flexibility in alternative routes to registration for overseas graduates, the same momentum must be applied to the address the rapidly increasing ORE backlog.”