CHANDIGARH: In a Significant Move aimed at enhancing oral healthcare services across Punjab's government hospitals and medical colleges, Health and Family Welfare Minister of Punjab, Dr. Balbir Singh, has unveiled a series of projects to modernize dental healthcare infrastructure. The key initiatives include the upgrade of Government Dental Colleges in Amritsar and Patiala, the establishment of trauma wards, introduction of super-specialty facilities, advanced dental implant centers in district hospitals, and the installation of orthopantomogram (OPG) machines.
Dr. Balbir Singh encouraged dentists to advance their skills and expertise, announcing plans to honor the best-performing dentists in district hospitals and facilitate their direct placement in medical colleges. Furthermore, the Health Minister assured that all vacant dentist positions in the state would be promptly filled.
In a groundbreaking development, advanced dental implant centers will be inaugurated in five district hospitals, including Mohali, Patiala, Jalandhar, Rupnagar, and Amritsar. Additionally, state-of-the-art OPG machines, which provide panoramic scanning dental X-rays of the upper and lower jaw, will be installed in Amritsar and Mohali district hospitals. These services will later be expanded to all district hospitals following the successful implementation of the pilot projects.
Under the National Oral Health Program (NOHP) Punjab, Dr. Balbir Singh lauded the efforts to provide oral healthcare services to Punjab's residents. This year, 5431 patients received free dental implants, and last year, 67478 school children and 48028 patients were screened and treated for various oral diseases during the dental fortnight conducted in state dental OPDs.
During the event, the Health Minister recognized districts that performed the highest number of dental implant procedures during the dental fortnight. Medical Officers (Dental) who conducted the most oral surgeries in dental OPDs, demonstrated exemplary IEC content, or organized innovative anti-tobacco awareness activities on World No Tobacco Day were also honored.
Director Health, Dr. Adarshpal Kaur, outlined the purpose of the annual in-service reorientation training session, which aimed to acquaint Medical Officers (Dental) with the latest treatment methods in dental implants, prosthodontics, and orthodontics. Esteemed experts, including Dr. Nitin Verma, Head of Oral Surgery at Government Dental College, Amritsar, Dr. KBS Kukreja in MDS Prosthodontics, and Dr. Vikas Gupta in MDS Prosthodontics, conducted informative training sessions for dental surgeons from government health facilities.
Notably, Deputy Director (Dental), Dr. Surinder Mal, assured the Health Minister of further improvements in oral health facilities throughout the state. Notable dignitaries present at the event included Director Family Welfare Dr. Hitinder Kaur, Principal SIHFW Dr. Jaswinder Kumari, Civil Surgeon Mohali, Mahesh Ahuja, Director Procurement PHSC Dr. Pawanpreet Kaur, and State Nodal Officer (Dental) Dr. Navrup Kaur.