The Knesset Health Committee approved final regulations Tuesday that will allow practicing dentists who immigrate to Israel to receive licenses to practice immediately upon arrival in Israel, instead of having to take tests and go through a period of apprenticeship, as most medical professionals are required to do. The rules will apply to dentists who have at least five years of experience working abroad.
Dentists who have already taken the tests and failed them will be required to demonstrate their skills, but will be exempt from the written parts of the tests.
The bill came into being due to the efforts of one dentist, Dr. David Tibi, an immigrant from France. A dentist himself, Tibi was required to go through tests – after having worked for three decades as a dentist in France. Tibi appealed to several MKs, getting the ear of Aliyah and Absorption Minister Ze’ev Elkin, who decided to do something about the licensing fiasco. Together with Health Minister Rabbi Yaakov Litzman, the two developed a law that would allow for recognition of foreign-issued licenses for dentists, backed by at least five years experience in the field.
The law was approved in January by a unanimous 96 to 0 vote. After the vote, Elkin stood up at the Knesset podium and thanked “the 96 Mks from the coalition and opposition who voted to approve this law unanimously, and who did not allow the threat of snow to bully them into running away before we had a chance to vote on this. This is wonderful news for olim, and I thank the Prime Minister and the Health Minister for their support.”