Representatives from the Swedish Parliament showed a great interest in the dental education

On Wednesday 20 April, the dental education was presented in the Swedish Parliament. More than a dozen members of parliament from different parties had attended at the invitation of Members of the Parliament Carina Ödebrink (S) and Acko Ankarberg Johansson (KD).

The Regional Director of Region Jönköping County and the President at Jönköping University give a joint presentation to Members of Parliament.

Jane Ydman, Regional Director, Region Jönköping County and Agneta Marell, President, Jönköping University, participated in the presentation of the dental education to the Members of the Parliament.

"We really need to raise these strategic issues of securing the supply of dentists across the country. The issues are interconnected from the national, to the regional and local level, and this is a good way to reach the elected representatives throughout the country," said Carina Ödebrink.

"This is an important initiative to create future conditions for more equal dental care, better dental health and more dentists throughout Sweden. The initiative, together with Linköping University and Region Jönköping County (RJL), involves investment in new technology and new teaching methods; a new education programme, new research facilities, more student accommodation and research and teaching staff. It will be the first new dental education in Sweden in over 50 years," said Agneta Marell, President of Jönköping University (JU).

Under the heading "We are creating the dental education of the future", a delegation consisting of the following presented the vision and background, success factors, collaboration between universities, regions and dental clinics, benefits and digital ways of working, among other things:

  • Agneta Marell, President at Jönköping University
  • Jane Ydman, Regional Director at Region Jönköping County
  • Agnetha Bartoll, Dental Director at Folktandvården, RJL
  • Marie Ernsth Bravell, Dean at the School of Health and Welfare, JU
  • Ola Norderyd, professor/dentist JU
  • Shariel Sayardoust, senior lecturer/dentist JU

“This was very exciting," Gunilla Svantorp (S), chair of the Education Committee, summed up. “It is very positive that you have fulfilled what the Swedish Higher Education Authority had previously rejected. This project is very good, we need more projects of this sort.”

Anders W Jonsson, group leader of the Center Party, also listened to the presentations.

“Prior, I have heard a lot about this, and find it very interesting and commendable that you want to solve the national problem.”

He, as well as other participants, also received answers to their questions about the fact that the students are on site in different regions for 150 days and thus do not have to commute back and forth between training and internship. They were also informed about the advantages of the arrangement, such as the fact that the students get to meet ordinary patients, that several regions are planning to locate the internship in smaller towns rather than in the big cities, and that the recruitment of doctoral teachers will be made not least from the Institute for Postgraduate Dental Education, where there is a unique pool of expertise.

Utbildningsdepartementets logotyp

Two Swedish ministries learned more about the initiative

Earlier in the day, the delegation also met with officials from the Ministry of Education and Research as well as the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs.

“This was also a great meeting. One official summed up the meeting by saying that we had managed to address all the important issues. Among other things, we raised issues and provided information about the challenges facing dentistry in the country in terms of skills supply and skills shortages, feedback from dental students that current programmes have too little clinical training, and the concerns of existing colleges about teacher supply. Here we were able to clearly describe that we will be self-supporting through the Institute for Postgraduate Dental Education," said Regional Director Jane Ydman.

That the meetings in Stockholm served their purpose well can be illustrated by Member of the Parliament Jakob Olofsgård's (L) summary on Instagram:

"The future of dental education in Jönköping solves the shortage of dentists in the whole country!"

The application for a new dental education was submitted to the Swedish Higher Education Authority in March 2022 and now further decisions are awaited in the autumn.