Q: What is the difference between the Namibian Dental Association and the Medical and Dental Council of Namibia?
A: Two different and separate organizations exist in Namibia to guide and oversee the dental profession.
The Namibian Dental Association (NDA) is a voluntary association for dentists. The main aim of the NDA is to promote dentistry and the dental profession. The NDA thus concerns itself with issues that are important to the dental profession.
The NDA has no legal powers over the profession.
Membership of the NDA is by choice and dentists may or may not be members. Currently more than 80% of the dentists practising in Namibia are members of the association.
The Interim Medical and Dental Council (IMDC) is a statutory body, created by law, and is responsible for the legislation governing the dental profession in Namibia.
The main purpose of the IMDC is to protect the public and to guide and regulate dental professionals. No dentist may practice without being registered and accredited by the IMDC.
The IMDC has legal powers with regard to the dental profession.
Legislation to transform the IMDC into a permanent Medical and Dental Council are currently being finalized and elections for members of the permanent Council should be held before the end of 2007.
In summary: Although both these bodies concern themselves with dentistry, the NDA exists to act for and on behalf of the dental profession while the IMDC acts for and on behalf of the public. In practice the NDA and IMDC often works together and because of the similar aims of the two organisations, regular consultation between the two bodies is necessary.