Ukrainian dentists want to practise

A family of dental professionals from Ukraine have spoken out about the barriers to practising in Northern Ireland while being hosted as refugees

A Ukrainian family of dentists who are currently living as refugees in Northern Ireland have flagged up the barriers that exist to stop them from practising in the UK.

Anastasiia Saviska and her relatives are being hosted by a family based in County Down. She operated a family dental practice in Ukraine alongside her husband and father before leaving the country due to the conflict with Russia.

To practise in the UK, they would need to take Overseas Registration Exams (ORE). At present, however, there is a backlog in places for these as the examinations were suspended for two years because of Covid and this has increased demand.

Anastasiia said: “I know it’s a long process and there’s a long list for waiting – it’s years. For me, it’s very sad. I can help, but I can’t do this now.”

A spokesperson for the General Dental Council said in a statement that the organisation was working through the backlog. But, they said, the exam is also subject to “outdated and inflexible legislation which effectively prevents us from offering more places.” The official added: “This legislation is in the process of being reformed and we look forward to being able to run a more efficient system in future.”

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Published: 12 September, 2022 at 07:45