and what about the rest of our children? those in primary and secondary school?
i used to work in the government for almost 4 years before i resign, and i know for sure they do have a solid dental program for schoolchildren. basically the program involves dental check ups and simple treatments for all schools.
this is how it works:
every start of the year the klinik kesihatan in the constituency (for example klinik kesihatan in sec 3 bandar baru bangi) will draft a schedule as to where and when they will pay a visit to each of the schools within that area. the program will be two tiered: they will first call all students class by class to do a general check up. then the next step they will call, also class by class, only those who needs treatment. usually before they call the student for the second time students are required to get consent from their guardians. the involved personnels are generally divided to two teams:
teams for primary school consists of
- 2-3 dental nurses
- 2 attendants
- and occasionally a dentist will accompany them whenever needed
teams for secondary school
- 1-2 dentists
- 1-2 dental assisstants
their coverage for each area is quite thorough although for secondary schools its quite difficult for them to cover all schools; the reason being
1 they're almost always lacking in numbers of officers.
2 usually schools dont allow the program runs on exam period i.e pmr/spm/midterm exams
for example in bandar baru bangi the klinik kesihatan dental teams will cover
- sek jalan 2 - sek jalan 4
- sek jalan 3 - sek chung hwa in kajang
- sek jalan 6 - sek convent in kajang
- sek integrasi - those that have slipped my mind
- sek jalan 2 - sek maahaad hamidiah
- sek jalan 3 - sek jalan reko
- sek jalan 4 - sek al amin
so you see its pretty thorough, but i have to mention that schools with the best cooperation given during my working year in the government (2004-2007) (from the children as well as teachers) are sek men jalan 4 and maahad hamidiah.
i also do understand your concern.
i do always hear complaints from parents and students that the dental service given at school left much to be desired. that doesnt give you an excuse so that you can run away when the dentist starts calling your class. the first tier (the general check up) is the one which plays the most important role and also the simplest: to determine whether you need any treatment or not. if you dont, good for you. if you do....
actually you have 2 choices- 1. let the dentist do her job... its not bad actually. we usually try to do the best that we can. it just the time constraint. just imagine.. we are to do up to 100 dental fillings from 8.30 am to 12.30 pm.
move on to no.2. you can always decline treatment. tell your dentist that you want to have treatment at nearby clinic. or for parents, you can always inform the dentist that you dont want your child to have dental treatment at their school. the dentists are always glad when you tell them that. it will take a little bit off their shoulder, u know.
just dont run away when they call you the first time, okay. its nothing, they wont do the treatment right away. its just check ups, but an important one, so that you'll know whether you need a dental treatment or not.