Vice President M Venkaiah Naidu on Saturday told authorities that it should be compulsory for young medical professionals to work in rural areas at least for two to three years before they get their first promotion.

He said that healthcare professionals should conduct camps in the rural areas which have been neglected over the years. Naidu was addressing the 11th International Dental Students and 5th Dental Surgeons Conference in Delhi.

He appreciated the participants who have taken oath to work for 15 days in a year in rural areas for free. "That is a good idea and I am sure that the initiative will help the needy. Medical professionals should work for lifestyle changes of people," he said.

The Vice President said that the most common oral diseases that people today are suffering from are dental cavities, periodontal (gum) disease, oral cancer, oral infectious diseases, trauma from injuries, and hereditary lesions. He said that proper awareness and setting up of health camps will help in solving the problem.

He said that while the government is keen to set up more colleges in the public sector, strict action should be taken by the Dental Council against the private dental colleges which are not maintaining proper standards and falling short of stipulations. "We cannot afford any kind of laxity when it comes to health education and healthcare of the people. I am told that only 40 of the 300 odd dental colleges in the country are in the government sector," he added.

He also said that as digital technology is revolutionising every aspect of lives, it should be used to ensure that the treatment and implants are within the affordable range of the common man.