‘I was a dentist before Ukraine war, I want to help others’

- BBC News

‘I was a dentist before Ukraine war, I want to help others’

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A family of refugees who were dentists before the Russian invasion of Ukraine has been highlighting barriers preventing them from practising in the UK.

A recent BBC investigation exposed dentistry shortages across the UK.

The regulator has also confirmed a backlog in exam places that allow some overseas dentists to register and practise in the UK.

Anastasiia Saviska worked along aside her husband and her father as dentists in Ukraine. They had their own family practice before having to flee the country.

Anastasiia and her family are currently being hosted by the Johnston family from County Down in Northern Ireland.

A backlog in exam places mean delays before they can do the Overseas Registration Exams (ORE) that would allow them to practise in the UK.

The General Dental Council (GDC) said: "The ORE reopened earlier this year after being suspended for almost two years due to Covid. That suspension has increased the current demand for exam places.

“We are working through that, but the exam is also subject to outdated and inflexible legislation which effectively prevents us from offering more places."

The GDC 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.”

Video journalist: Niall McCracken



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