17 October, 2017

A SAITM Solution: Take Over Medical & Allow Other Faculties To Continue

By Laksiri Fernando

Dr. Laksiri Fernando

There is no point in allowing the SAITM issue to continue for so long without a solution. The government or the country should be able to resolve such problems within a reasonable time, let us say two months. The failure to do so, not good for the country and its normal functioning, and much desired development. This is not to say that resolving such a problem is easy. But most difficulties are related to (1) the reluctance to give-in (2) unwillingness to face the reality (3) hesitation to change previously held views and (4) acrimonious political confrontations.

At present, the confrontation seems to be mainly between the government, or certain sections of the government, and the GMOA (General Medical Officers Association), although there are several other stake holders. SAITM (South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine) seems to have taken a back seat, tactfully or not, and their medical students have become the main victims of the situation.

Various Views

I have seen over 50 articles on the subject in various newspapers and websites, the authors mostly expressing their views ‘for’ or ‘against’ SAITM based on their ideological/political views and/or self-interests. On both counts, the reasoning could be considered ‘subjective,’ which is something not easy to avoid even in my case. Dr Ruwan Weerasinghe commendably analysed most of these views (“To SAITM or Not to SAITM – Is that the Question?” – Colombo Telegraph, 11 April), listing them into 12 issues, for the discerning readers to make their own judgement/s. Unfortunately, even the present controversy seems to be broadly – ‘To SAITM or Not to SAITM.’ In Weerasinghe’s view, which I largely agree, the rational question instead should be: “Can the medical education be provided by the private sector?

There have been various other articles, some addressing the professional or economic/business aspects of the issue/s, nevertheless finally expressing personal/ideological preferences. Two of the important ones were by Professor R. P. Gunewardene and Dr W. A. Wijewardena. These are my selections.

Whatever his personal views on the matter of private medical education, Gunewardene (“SAITM Issue: A Rational Approach Needed,” – CT, 24 February) has frankly noted the following, in respect of negligence or breach on the part of SAITM and also correctly blaming the other authorities, for the present crisis.

“It is regrettable to note that SAITM on their part has continuously disregarded the guidelines issued by the regulatory bodies in their development process. Their gross negligence towards the stipulated guidelines is clearly evident as reported by Professor Carlo Fonseka. In addition, SAITM authorities have not explained the current status of their degree program to the students at the time of admission. It is rather unfortunate that no action has been taken by the appropriate authorities well in advance to avoid the present situation.”

Wijewardena, on the other hand, was highlighting the economic/business aspects of the matter in fact even endorsing private medical education emphasising the “failure of the government to meet the aspirations of all students seeking to continue for a medical degree at a state university.” Writing after the Court of Appeal decision, favouring the request of students (31 January), nevertheless he was not completely dismissing the institutional criticisms of SAITM by the GMOA or the Padeniya Report. That is why he was talking about “SAITM and Private Medical Schools: One Bad Start should not lead to Throwing Away a Good Idea” – (CT, 20 February). One instance of his acceptance of institutional criticisms is the following:

“According to the correspondence between SAITM’s founder Dr. Neville Fernando and SLMC and between BOI and SLMC as reproduced in the Padeniya Report, SAITM had been called at that time in its original name, namely, South Asian Institute of Technology and Management. Thus, its transformation into South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine would have taken place much later as a marketing device.”

Controversial Issues

SAITM initially has been a BOI approved private venture in 2008 to conduct training (and not degrees) in management, nursing, languages, vocational studies, health science and technology. It has been the Ministry of Higher Education and the UGC which have given SAITM, the degree awarding status (August 2011). By that time SAITM had already started recruiting students for medicine. It is important to note that this was Rajapaksa time, while some key decision makers are with the present government.

However, the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) has clearly written to SAITM in 2009, among other matters, that it cannot “recognise any degree being awarded by an institution not set up under the Higher Education Act.” This cannot be just a technical matter, which even the UGC has overlooked. The present controversy is much on the substance, for instance, whether the SAITM students have sufficient clinical experience to qualify for national and international standards, whatever the facilities they have in superior to even some of the state run medical facilities.

On the part of the university student unions and other trade unions in the country, they question the recruitment procedure of SAITM, based on the capacity to pay high fees, leaving out many more qualified students out of the possibility of entering the lucrative medical profession. If you have, for instance, two Cs (with one S) in bio-sciences, you can enter as a medical student at SAITM but not to a state university, because of the higher Z-score required. Here has a strong equity problem. Even then, enrolment of SAITM students for a batch is not more than 30, because of the financial factor. This cannot even be considered ‘freedom of education’ by any means, they argue. However, the protests should not be at all against the SAITM students or even SAITM, but against the prevailing injustice.

Medical graduates are the only graduates who are assured of secure employment in the country. Therefore, all those who are qualified, should have the opportunity to enter medical education, whatever the determined minimum qualification. There are more and more good doctors needed in the country. They also have the opportunity to go abroad an earn a good living, whether they contribute back to the country or not. On the other hand, there is nothing wrong, under the circumstances, in having fees for medical students either on the direct payment basis (like at SAITM) or on an interest free loan basis like HELP (Higher Education Loan Program) in Australia in the long run. However, this is not an issue that should be settled now. Much more discussions are necessary.

Different Proposals

Mr Somapala Gunadheera has admirably expressed his strong concerns about the debilitating effects that are created due to the unresolved status of the SAITM issue including the staged and threatened strikes (“Settle SAITM issue to avoid a breakdown,” CT , 3 May). He has quoted very clearly the ‘unfavourable outcomes’ and ‘ill-effects’ that the Association of Medical Specialists has pointed out which are already visible in the national health system, as a result of the current crisis.

Towards resolving the ongoing controversies, Gunadheera has further summarized the proposals of the Medical Dean’s Association (MDA), the Association of Medical Specialists (AMS) and – partial though – SAITM’s responses to the above proposals, also noting GMOA’s positive reactions to many of the proposals of the MDA. If these are genuine and correct, a solution cannot be far away.

In the meanwhile, the government has come up with a ‘Six Point Proposal’ to the situation. From the look of them, they fall far short of the ‘demands,’ the other expert proposals or the key issues of the controversy. As reported in The Island lead article (“SAITM Crisis Takes New Turn,” 4 May), they are as follows.

(1) Listing of SAITM in the Colombo Stock Exchange (CSE). (2) New administration under a board of directors. (3) SAITM students who have already passed the final MBBS examination would be given a further period of clinical training in Surgery, Medicine, Gynaecology and Obstetrics, Psychiatry and Paediatrics, one month each in duration, at the Homagama and Avissawella hospitals. (4) Subsequent to this training, candidates would undergo a mandatory examination conducted for granting provisional registration under the joint supervision of the SLMC and the University Grant Commission. (5) The Ministry of Health would gazette the minimum standards for medical education in Sri Lanka submitted by the SLMC with the approval of AG. (6) The Ministry would initiate the proceedings to bring the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital under the Ministry of Health and continue to run it as a teaching hospital.

Frankly speaking, the first and the key proposal of “Listing of SAITM in the Colombo Stock Exchange” is like ‘Koheda Yanne, Malle Pol’ (Where are you going? Coconuts in the basket!). The second is the same. The third and also the fourth are necessary, whether the further clinical training is given at Homagama or Avissawella. The fifth is a long-standing requirement, not fulfilled until now, without direct relevance to the present SAITM controversy. The sixth proposal appears to divert the issue and the whole effort of proposals appear to be to make mere managerial changes. If the Ministry of Health can take over the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital, why cannot the Ministry of Higher Education and the UGC take over the SAITM Faculty of Medicine, one can ask?

One can even suspect or argue these proposals to have ulterior motives and/or self-interests. Who would be the new managers? Who can assure the new managers are going to be better than the old? Who is eying for the shares and the new management? Instead of resolving the existing problems, the proposals appear to create new problems and new controversies.

A Possible Solution

To find a possible solution, the key question identified by Ruwan Weerasinghe – ‘Can the Medical Education be provided by the Private Sector? – needs to be answered. The answer seems to be (as far as I am concerned), ‘Not at Present.’ The efforts by SAITM may be considered admirable. But the efforts have failed. The patient is dead. The two main proposals by the Medical Dean’s Association are (1) Stop admissions to SAITM with immediate effect and (2) Stop SAITM from granting an MBBS degree forthwith.

Whatever the arguments/apologies that SAITM has offered to protect its credibility, what I have found strange is the non-listing of its academic staff in the faculty’s website. There is no portal for Staff! To be fair, Rajarata University medical faculty also does not have a portal for staff, although names and pictures are given here and there.

This is not the first effort to conduct medical education by the private sector. The first effort of the North Colombo Medical College (NCMC), started in 1981, also failed. The opposition to that effort also was tainted with political/ideological reasons as is the case today. However, it was closed and became taken over by the University of Kelaniya under President Ranasinghe Premadasa administration in 1989 for pragmatic reasons. Because it was a failure. The same thing can be said about the medical faculty of SAITM, while the present effort can be considered more professional. The medical faculty should not be just scrapped, however, as the medical education should be expanded in the country.

The present SAITM consist of five faculties: (1) Medicine (2) Engineering (3) ICT and Media (4) Management and Finance and (5) Allied Health and Behavioral Sciences. There is no need to take over all faculties, but medicine. There can be similar concerns about engineering, but not at present.

The Faculty of Medicine can be affiliated to the University of Moratuwa, which is the only prominent university without a medical faculty, or any other. SAITM even can continue in that acronym, but going back to its original name: South Asian Institute of Technology and Management. Necessary other measures are already there in various proposals (MDA, AMS, SLMC, GMOA etc.), including the government proposal. A committee representing all stakeholders can be appointed under the UGC to sort out all other datils. There is a precedent, on how such a transition can be made in the experience of the North Colombo Medical College.

If the Ministry of Health can take over the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital, why the Ministry of Higher Education and the UGC cannot take over the SAITM Faculty of Medicine?

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Latest comments

  • 16
    8

    We need private medical education and no doubt about it.

    Infact in 2016 around 1,300 students were admitted to 8 medical faculties and a further 1,800 students who had obtained better results than those who entered on a district basis have no opportunity to study medicine and this is how ridiculous the present system is!!! Even if the govt double the number of faculties all the students who qualify cannot be admitted. It could take many decades for the govt to increase the number of medical faculties. Hence private medical education is a must.

    GMOA will never allow private medical education and hence this situation should be changed. However all of them engage in private practice !! This is called hypocrisy. No govt has had the backbone to stop private practice to govt employed doctors. GMOA is a mafia and should be dealt with.

    SAITM should be supported and the govt proposals are encouraging and should be supported.

    Hopefully the Supreme Court judgment on the SLMC appeal should resolve the outstanding matters.

    • 5
      2

      Reply

      a further 1,800 students who had obtained better results than those who entered on a district basis have no opportunity to study medicine and this is how ridiculous the present system is!!!

      How about the difference between those from the city who pass A/L better because they had money to pay for tuition.

      On the other hand, rural many don’t have tuition classes.

    • 9
      4

      JAgath Fernando:

      How come admiited lesser qualified students, as you say, when better qualified candidates were outside ?

      It looks SAITM is for dumb children of rich parents and they would definitely kill patients everyday.

      I think, if SAITM is legalized, simultaneously there should be legialation to sue the doctors who kill patients.

    • 6
      4

      Jagath Fernando

      “GMOA will never allow private medical education and hence this situation should be changed. However all of them engage in private practice !! This is called hypocrisy. No govt has had the backbone to stop private practice to govt employed doctors. GMOA is a mafia and should be dealt with.”

      Well and succinctly summarized.

      GMOA an SLMC are Mafias. Why allow them to have the country, the populace and politicians in intimidated by the Mafia. Get Gota for a week, get his white van fleet up and running and clean up GMOA ans SLMC.

    • 5
      0

      Dear Jagath, your numbers are very much exaggerated.

      As per the record only 20,000 students were passed (3S) in biological science steam in 2015 A/L. Out of that, 7000 have been enrolled to Government Universities.

      Totally 1300 students have been enrolled to government medical colleges in 2015 A/L. Out of that, 520 candidates were selected based on Island wide Merit and remaining 780 candidates were selected based on District wise Merit.

      In 2015 A/L, the minimum results successfuly entroled to government medical college is 2B,C with Z-Score of 1.4512. Intestinally only less than 20 people who have less results than 3B entered into Government Medical Colleges in that year.

      Obviously there are considerable amount of candidates who obtained good results than 1.4512 missed out the chance of government Medical College entrance due to two tier selection. But considering the numbers, each district different cut-offs, we can clearly say your figure of 1800 is exaggerated. I assume, it will be in the range or 400-500.

      Your voice for the fair intake is much appreciated. But we should not forget, Island wide merit based selection and District wise merit based selection introduce the grater fairness in selection in a country like ours. The share and numbers associated with each selection criteria are decided based on demographic, resource asymmetry between districts, requirements and economical affordability.

      The concerns I have related to your point;

      Do government has to enroll all the A/L passed candidate to Medical College?
      Don’t we need very high entry qualification for Medical Education considering the importance?
      Isn’t the current yearly registration of 1300 doctors enough?
      Will establishing PMCs solve the all missed out candidates’ problem and ensure the fairness?
      Why can’t government increase the intake bit more and adjust the ratios of two tier intake?
      Interestingly, there are some reports indicates that, out of 900+ students in SAITM only 10% have 3B or above A/L results.!

      Medical College Entrance should be made though, regulated and need to enforce high entry qualification. That’s not because doctors are higher people, but the field they are going to serve is very critical.

      We should be more cautious about outcomes. Just because of the professional issues with some doctors (obviously to destroy their bad monopoly), we should not support a greater evil which will eventually hamper the quality of education and free health service.

      • 1
        0

        Well said

  • 10
    2

    Probably not a good idea to privatize medical education, given the level of corruption in the country. SAITM will be an extremely lucrative business venture turning out graduates with sub-par abilities. These graduates, who then become doctors, pose a very real danger to society. There will be lawsuits and the institute will be permanently closed.

    Those who can afford the high fees should go overseas instead.

  • 10
    1

    The point is that minimum requirements for admission need to be met and academic standards should to be assured.
    Places that collect huge fees depend on their patrons and will compromise standards to keep the business going.

  • 3
    3

    Sri lanka needs private universities. Because, the govt alone can not educated everyone, particularly if the doctors have to be trained in many new technological developments, there should be private help.

    Free education can not do every thing. Because people are not willing to contribute, they want every thing free.

    Most of those get free education go overseas. See how even thos – GMOA – free education and take hostages from poor people who were sweating in order to get them educated.

    News reports say even the GMOA – Leader was doing private practice on the day of the striek while they were on strike for the govt service.

    they think the govt is politicians and not the people.

    The solution is whether it is SLFP,UNP, JVP or destroy politically aligned trade unions.

  • 9
    4

    The GMOA is being used by the Joint Opposition[JO] to ride back to Power,hopefully.
    What is wrong with Private Medical Education? Most countries have this.
    The people of this country have had enough of the GMOA!.
    The time is ripe now for the Govt:to deal with them.If not they will go on and on holding this country to ransom!

  • 5
    4

    Jagath Fernando

    I agree with every word of what you have written. Not a single person of intelligence in this country doesn’t know the truth behind the GMOA protest. Yet the objectors have not mobilised themselves to the point of forcing the government to do the right.

  • 4
    3

    Even this article is “koheda yanne malle Pol” .

    1. Though SAITM commenced as Technology & Management institute, later it decided it would offer medical degree through a Russian University where first 4 years or so would be conducted locally and balance years would be at Russia. This is an accepted method for many universities world wide. But SLMC said no but to see the possibility of offering the full degree program locally for which SAITM obtain Degree awarding status from UGC after due deligence

    2. The minimum Entry qualification for a local university is only 3 simple passes, though in practically a student with 3 passes would not gain admission purely due to lack of space in State university.But the minimum entry requirement is only 3 simple passes. Please not even Prof Carlo Fonseka has only 2 passes or some what. But he was lucky in his time , there was no such competition to enter medical college and he was able to enroll himself and proved his intelligence & competence by becoming a Prof.

    3. Only later SLMC decided minimum entry requirement for a medical faculty should be higher the 3 simple passes. Now SAITM they cannot enroll a student just because student has money. The student has to be approved by the UGC as eligible to enroll at SAITM to follow medical degree.

    4. EPRM (formally Act 16) , is for students returning from a foreign University. It is not applicable for local universities.

    What the State should do is to implement a regulatory mechanism to ensure quality standards not only for Private Medical Colleges but for State universities and other disciplines and encouraged more and more education institutes and not nationalizing as an easy way out.

  • 4
    4

    It’s ludicrous to see how the government is allowing these blood sucking doctors who gets all the privileges – free education, vehicle permits, tax free income etc at the expenses of the tax paying public to hold the patients and the public to ransom, on top of it most them migrate after making use of the public paid free education to the maximum and gives nothing back to the nation.

    It’s high time the public gets together and put stop to this mafia menace. The immediate need is to make it an essential service.

  • 2
    3

    All over the world Medical profession is exclusive.

    SAITM exudes exclusiveness. Seen from student write ups (orchestrated??)like “I could have gone overseas to read Medicine but opted to stay in my beloved country”. SAITM students flaunt their overseas AL grades via International schools.

    I know several shop assistants (for example) whose children entered medical courses through merit. Can hear shouts of “Ha ha merit”. By the way is SAITM a result of “standardization”?

    Will a SAITM survive outside Colombo? The political and economic clout are centered here. Like Royal College, SAITM may create exclusive graduates who take plum jobs and post-graduate study potential.

    Sorry for my ignorance – please enlighten me as to non-medical graduates produced by SAITM.

  • 5
    2

    Laksiri,
    you ask “If the Ministry of Health can take over the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital, why the Ministry of Higher Education and the UGC cannot take over the SAITM Faculty of Medicine?”

    The simple answer is if the UGC takes it over they have to admit students from the same merit list where state students are admitted. That might have an adverse effect on politician’s, influential and wealthier students getting into to SAITM.
    Anyone complaining of lower grade students getting admitted to medical schools depriving better students from the urban areas should take this issue with the UGC to stop district basis quotas.

    • 0
      7

      If state admits 50% on merit and 50% on district quota, then the same merit list can further admit the next 50% to SAITM on merit giving scholarships, mahapola or repayable loans, and the rest 50% as FEE PAYING but all must be under the legality of the Ministry of Higher education and UGC with a broad based governing structure of uni. standard reality. If too many variables, suggestions and compromises then confusion without legal backing occurs. If too much money, then corruption sets in. If in poverty, then standards fall. If too much interference, end is destruction. If totally ignored, then chaos and anarchy.
      GMOA is insane and terroristic, but are able to align and unify all local MBBS of differing standards through SLMC registration and internship in to a common standard, and also have a stable plan for transfers, promotions, postgraduating etc even with some corruption. After all, SAITM are citizens, school colleagues, friends not aliens, caught in a web of injustice and given a legal verdict. It is not possible to shove in a different set of doctors here without connecting well to GMOA. Once SAITM MBBS is in internship and under GMOA, latter will nurture them with justice, as for all locals and merge them into the service of the government which needs them.

    • 0
      6

      Eusense

      I quote you said “….to stop district basis quota”

      I see you have changed your views and in earlier posts in another article on the same subject you supported district quota system when I vehemently opposed it and brought out how they are being abused when some wealthy students from the competitive district like Colombo, Kandy etc were able get them registered in a rural district school but hardly attended classes and stayed at home followed classes in Colombo or Kandy and entered the university with poor basic results.

      A similar thing by the rural students too who came to Colombo and followed classes and entered the University following prestigious courses like Medicine and Engineering.

      I am also well informed that many politically highly influential people were also able to sneak their kids and kin while the cloudy system was operative and I need not remind you of Baddiudin Mohamed if you know what things he did!

      Now I find you too have changed your stand to support the abolition of the district quota system. I welcome that and is long overdue.

      • 5
        0

        shrikharan,
        You are distorting my statement. Read the full statement;
        “Anyone complaining of lower grade students getting admitted to medical schools depriving better students from the urban areas should take this issue with the UGC to stop district basis quotas.”

        It is not my view or preference. What I say is there are a group of people who say there are low grade students (district basis) in the state medical schools than in the SAITM. Anybody who feels that and are against it should take it up with the UGC.

        • 1
          4

          Eusense

          You said I quote:
          “What I say is there are a group of people who say there are low grade students (district basis) in the state medical schools than in the SAITM”

          I too said that and am sure of that. Stop district quota system it is open to a lot of abuse and then may not be a need for a SAITM!

          There are students with A’s and B’s waiting out rusticating while students with 3 simple passes inside following prestigious course mocking and ridiculing those students with A’s and B’s they displaced with their bare 3 passes.

  • 9
    1

    Laksiri,
    You ask “Can the medical education be provided by the private sector?”

    Certainly. Only thing the private sector has to do is to work with the SLMC to fulfill the requirements needed for medical registration. In fact, we should encourage that.

    • 2
      6

      Private SAITM must work with radical marxist SLMC which is now a total slave of terrorist GMOA. Sadly SAITM working with politics rather than with academics will unnecessarily put post MBBS pressure of further unworkable and terrorised training and exams, to prevent internship and which is illegal according to Medical Ordinance. SLMC is meant to guide, but that is no longer possible with mafia.
      Every doctor though silent, knows the one year internship equates more than 5 years of student observer clerkship and hence the obstruction to SAITM MBBS internship which must be battled legally until justice. Detour by training and exams of ignorant politicians with input from intellectually twisted deans’ formulae is insane. Internship alone.

      Higher education has to separate SAITM Medical faculty whether under Moratuwa uni or other for absorbing into health service which is already controlled by GMOA. Unifying with GMOA practice is a must.

      • 5
        2

        medic,
        You can have any opinion on SLMC, but ultimate licencing power will be on this body as in any country in the world. It is not the Politicians or the judiciary system that decide who should be issued medical licenses.

        The role of the GMOA is to protect and maintain high professional standards within their membership. You can call it radical/Marxist/terrorist etc. etc. but their stance will never change.

        • 2
          3

          I agree fully with you. Name calling simply reflects their nature. SLMC is the body and there is no other, but how can a solution be found if SLMC is found violating Ordinance and wont step down. Then a higher authority has to remove chairman and registrar already proven as biased OR go on with a functional principle which cannot find a solution to the issue created for chaos. That’s where the principle of justice is used to find a solution. Theorising, ideological reasoning and pontification will not give a practical/realistic end as internship. This is not the first time med. students were trained to be doctors.

          • 4
            2

            Medic
            Didn’t the SLMC from the beginning state that saitm will not be recognized for registration? Didn’t they take paper advertisements publicizing that? What specific ordinances did SLMC violate? Even if they violated any ordinances the judiciary system has no authority to direct them to register anybody based on that violation. What the judiciary system can do is only to find the SLMC guilty and fine the registrar or put him in jail. But never to order registration of students who are deemed unqualified by the registration body.

            • 1
              2

              SLMC cannot say at beginning that they will not register and start publicizing which is defamation and accusation. There is a Medical Ordinance which is THE LAW for establishing and guiding new medical schools continually until they are able to reach standard to hold the final MBBS exam. Then their current task is over. They need to check all med. schools to help maintain standards which they have never placed on record as done.
              SLMC changed an inspection report of inspecting team, approved KDU without hospital then, under pressure, but refused SAITM with duplicity. SAITM appealed for justice. Verdict was SLMC violated Medical Ordnance and SAITM eligible legally and hence asked to give internship. SLMC teams never found fault with curriculum, staff, exams. and Final MBBS. Later they sang a different tune about further training and exams. Internship corrects all this.

              • 2
                1

                medic,
                SLMC is not that stupid to say at the beginning that they will not register without going through its accreditation process. Because SLMC found that saitm was not up to their criteria they forewarned students and parents of saitm’s registrability. The ordinance you are talking about where guiding new medical schools and registering its graduates is exclusively in SLMC hands and they have the final say on this. But never on the gov. or the judiciary system. Yes, the Gov. can make a new law through the parliament taking all this into politicians hands. This is unheard of in any country and if that happens none of the SL medical degrees will be accepted in any country even to sit for those country’s licencing exams.
                Let me state again. If the judiciary system concludes that the SLMC broke any law as you keep saying, it should be penalized. But the penalty can never be to register unqualified candidates. Judiciary system has no right or expertise to assess medical education and order registration!

  • 1
    1

    You just can’t say that because even in countries lie australia, they have equity in taking in students to university degree programs in terms of the cut off mark based on the educational facilities available in thr particular state/district. You simply cannot judge a student with 3 C’s from mullativ to be less qualified than a student from Colombo with 3 B’s. Sometimes those students dont have food to eat and thry have to help thier parents for farming and all while studying.. Think about this difference in distribution of resources when you talk about this district quota system…

  • 2
    1

    Aren’t the doctors came out through free medical education money greedy? Do they dedicate for the medical service at least partly? I believe most of the candidates for private medical education are children of the doctors who became doctors by free medical education. Can most of the people genuinely earn and afford for private medical education?
    If we are opposing the fee paying private medical education why are not opposing the fee paying private tuition classes. There are same fundamental principle behind both . With the same amount of money a student can easily get admission to a foreign medical course and also can by part time work.

  • 3
    0

    The need of the hour and the bounden duty of the government is to provide a solution to this as soon as possible, and then go on with the task of finding ways of creating avenues for educating children with the means to afford it. All those who swindled this country for Billions of rupees are responsible for this mess of bringing the country to a stage of bankruptcy where we are only able to allocate 1.8% of GDP for education which is less than what Bangladesh allocates for Education with a bigger population than ours.

  • 1
    1

    Sri Lanka needs more medical degree awarding institutions. Of that there cannot be any doubt and if GMOA is demanding SAITM be taken over by the Government, it is plain hypocrisy and self interest. The Government simply cannot afford the cost. Then what it must do is to introduce suitable minimum entry standards that are common for all (State and Private) medical universities including the KDU which has somehow escaped the public glare and have a Board of Governors who are knowledgeable in running and operating teaching hospitals and Universities to ensure compliance and guide policy.

    Just imagine if we had private institutions similar in excellence to Manipal in India and Nepal and others in Bangladesh, we could attract students from the region, rather than having to incur great cost in sending ours abroad.

  • 2
    2

    Pavaadeniya and Soysa are treating the rich at private hospitals and making millions of rupees but they don’t do so at government hospitals because they are on strike.What hypocrisy?The two gangsters are only heaping misery on the most vulnerable poor people who cannot afford private hospitals.See the pathetic situation at government hospitals.This must be resisted.Already it is happening.Petrol is not been pumped for cars with the doctor sticker.More action needs to be taken to deal with the unfairness of the inhuman GMOA

  • 1
    1

    Dear Jagath Fernando, your numbers are very much exaggerated.

    As per the record only 20,000 students were passed (3S) in biological science steam in 2015 A/L. Out of that, 7000 have been enrolled to Government Universities.

    Totally 1300 students have been enrolled to government medical colleges in 2015 A/L. Out of that, 520 candidates were selected based on Island wide Merit and remaining 780 candidates were selected based on District wise Merit.

    In 2015 A/L, the minimum results successfuly entroled to government medical college is 2B,C with Z-Score of 1.4512. Intestinally only less than 20 people who have less results than 3B entered into Government Medical Colleges in that year.

    Obviously there are considerable amount of candidates who obtained good results than 1.4512 missed out the chance of government Medical College entrance due to two tier selection. But considering the numbers, each district different cut-offs, we can clearly say your figure of 1800 is exaggerated. I assume, it will be in the range or 400-500.

    Your voice for the fair intake is much appreciated. But we should not forget, Island wide merit based selection and District wise merit based selection introduce the grater fairness in selection in a country like ours. The share and numbers associated with each selection criteria are decided based on demographic, resource asymmetry between districts, requirements and economical affordability.

    The concerns I have related to your point;

    Do government has to enroll all the A/L passed candidate to Medical College?
    Don’t we need very high entry qualification for Medical Education considering the importance?
    Isn’t the current yearly registration of 1300 doctors enough?
    Will establishing PMCs solve the all missed out candidates’ problem and ensure the fairness?
    Why can’t government increase the intake bit more and adjust the ratios of two tier intake?
    Interestingly, there are some reports indicates that, out of 900+ students in SAITM only 10% have 3B or above A/L results.!

    Medical College Entrance should be made though, regulated and need to enforce high entry qualification. That’s not because doctors are higher people, but the field they are going to serve is very critical.

    We should be more cautious about outcomes. Just because of the professional issues with some doctors (obviously to destroy their bad monopoly), we should not support a greater evil which will eventually hamper the quality of education and free health service.

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    Government can takeover the faculty (saitm-medical fac.) And enroll students only on island wide merit basis.this will give a chance to students from competitive districts like colombo,kandy,galle,mathara,hambanthota etc.

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    If health ministry can take over NFTH, why cant “Higher Education and UGC” take Medical Faculty under Moratuwa? It needs to be done now for continuity of local MBBS to go into internship. Transition of NCMC was on govt. property. SAITM is private property, but it has done the best and reached the highest possible under private ownership. If it continues, it will allow students to be penalised with more exams. and no future internship. That means ship wreck. If a uni. takes over, giving scholarships to about half the students, they could still retain about 50% as fee paying and hence reducing financial burden. The problem with SLMC is finances, though they reject under ‘deficient standard’ for argument. GMOA is the only body to absorb into health service, but are in contempt of court. However twisted both SLMC and GMOA are, they also hold right and just solution to SAITM internship.

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    The private medical collage is highly cost of running and need lager amount of millions of rupees to maintain by private capital.

    Ours private -capital-market stability is uncertainties and RISK. The current feasibility of investment for Private Medical Collage that we do not having sufficient financial backing time being.

    Without such -capital we cannot afford meet requirement directed by SLMC guidance. The crisis is that. What we have do look for new platform for immediate solution for the key issues of SATIM that demand by GMOA. There is something undeniably magnificent about SATIM.

    We cannot afford SATIM by expenses of tax payers money profit own by Neville Fernando.

    Let SATIM go on their way ,an open admitted qualified students New Medical College run by Govt. funded.
    WE WANT GOVT. MEDICIAL COLLGES.

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    D.Nimal.

    What stands for your D? Nice English though!
    Are you married?

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    Under Health ministry ,should construct a council to register medical professionals who are denied registration by SLMC. By doing this SLMC thugs will be out numbered. SLMC get free education and do not contribute towards those who paid for their education. They have no right to disrupt services. Those who do so should be sacked and cancel their degree too to stop private practice.

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      First try to understand the difference between SLMC and GMOA. Then comment.
      Do you want to SLMC to allow the fellows like you too?

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    We need many more SAITAMs then only education becomes really free. All those who qualify should be able to enter Universities. Govt must stand firm and go ahead.After all this is Govt. policy approved by the people at elections.If SAITAM degrees are not acceptable how come they accept Medical degrees offered by foreign Universities. DO SLMC and GMOA Monitor the standards of foreign universities,
    .

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