The West Visayas State University (WVSU) in Iloilo City is set to open its doctor of dental medicine (DMD) program in school year 2021-2022, the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) announced on Friday, May 21.
According to the CHED, WVSU will be the first state university in the Western Visayas and the second in the country to offer the program. WVSU is opening the program “in its efforts towards increasing the numbers of dentists in the country.”
The university’s DMD program will be a six-year program comprised of basic science, clinical science, and dental public health courses.
The only state university to offer the program was the University of the Philippines in Manila, despite dentistry being covered by the free higher education law or Republic Act No. 10931.
“As a leading state university in medical education and nursing, WVSU will assist the government in achieving its vision of providing one dentist in every barangay as a way of making primary oral health care accessible especially in rural and underserved areas,” said WVSU President Joselito F. Villaruz.
A 2018 World Health Organization report found that the Department of Health deploys just 210 dentists a year on average to local government units.
CHED Chairperson Prospero de Vera said the commission assisted WVSU with funds for equipment, curricular needs, and facilities.
De Vera also said the DMD program is included in the government’s free higher education scholarship program, which means students will enjoy free tuition and miscellaneous fees. – Michelle Abad/Rappler.com