Dental graduates protest about unemployment in Erbil

Dentist graduates protest in front of the Kurdistan Dentist Association demanding employment. Tuesday November 19, 2019 (NRT Digital Media)

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SULAIMANI — Dental graduates protested on Tuesday (November 19) in front of the Kurdistan Dentists' Association, calling for public sector employment.

The Kurdistan Regional Government (KRG) has not employed dentists who graduated from universities and colleges in the Region between 2015 and 2019 because of the financial crisis and its lingering effects. As a result, many have gone abroad looking for work, protesters said.

The graduates argue that a government position is a critical part of their CV and, without it, they will not be able to open their own clinic later on. They say that in order to be considered experienced demists, they must first complete one year in a hospital and one year in an area outside of the city.

One graduate explained that “spending time away from our profession has had a big effect on our knowledge and motivation. Because we could not finished our training period at the hospitals, we cannot even apply for a Master's or PhD degree.”

Dental graduates have protested in the past about this issue, but there has been little public response from the government, which is under increasing pressure from multiple sectors to finally end the austerity measures it instituted in response to the 2014 financial crisis.

(NRT Digital Media)