More than 900 Saudi dentists remain unemployed while about 9,000 expatriate dentists work in hospitals under the Ministry of Health, according to the Saudi Commission for Health Specialties (SCHS).
There are 5,287 Saudis and 9,729 expatriates who are licensed to practice general dentistry in the Kingdom.
Addressing the 20th batch of the commission’s graduates in Jeddah on Tuesday, Health Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah reiterated his ministry’s efforts to employ Saudi dentists.
The commission said there were 3,116 dental specialists, including 1,651 Saudis of whom nine were unable to find jobs.
Al-Rabiah said his ministry agreed with the Ministry of Labor and Social Development to stop recruiting dentists from abroad. He added that there was no need to hire dentists from abroad as enough number of Saudi graduates were coming out from dentistry colleges.
According to the commission, there are 26 dentistry colleges in the Kingdom of which 18 are government-run and eight in the private sector. Each year they graduate between 2,000 and 3,000 dentists.
The commission said only 25% of the practising dentists in the Kingdom were Saudis, adding that about 27.5% of the dentistry jobs will be Saudized each year. It said 21,800 jobs would be created for Saudi dentists by 2027.
It said no new dentistry college will open until 2027 and added that the sending of Saudi students abroad to study dentistry within the scholarship program has been halted.
Source: Saudi Gazette