Knesset Lifts Testing Requirements for Immigrant Dentists

Israeli Minister of Health Rabbi Yaakov Litzman in the Knesset on Monday. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)
Israeli Minister of Health Rabbi Yaakov Litzman in the Knesset on Monday. (Miriam Alster/Flash90)

The Knesset acted on Monday to remove longstanding obstacles to immigrants who have qualified as dental professionals in their home countries.

Dentists with five years’ experience will henceforth be exempt from taking an exam, according to legislation approved by a joint session of the Knesset Labor, Welfare and Health and the Immigration, Absoprtion and Disapora Committees. The vote was unanimous.

In recent months, the issue of the transfer of professional credentials from their home country has been raised by immigrants and potential immigrants from France, who have complained that despite the high academic and professional standards in France, they have been subjected to unreasonable testing in Israel.

Health Minister MK Rabbi Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) said during the committee session: “It is absurd that we exempt physicians who studied abroad from exams and training, while dentists are required to undergo a battery of tests.

“I will act to cancel the testing of dentists with experience.”

However, Rabbi Litzman did oppose such exemptions for para-professionals. “There will be no exemption. We have already arranged very significant leniencies for them.”

Professional exams will also be available in additional languages besides Hebrew, including Russian, French and Spanish, and the Health Ministry will have the authority to exempt people from an internship period if they worked in their profession for over a year.

The exemptions will not apply to anyone who lived in Israel and went abroad to study, nor to people who studied in Israel.

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