21 April, 2018

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SAITM Students Had No Psychiatry Or Community Medicine Training

By Sankalpa Marasinghe

Dr Sankalpa Marasinghe MD

On 30 December, 2017, Minister Lakshman Kiriella was visibly jubilant to make a revelation in front of a set of graduates from Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technological Education (SLIATE). It was a statement embedded with sarcasm directed towards the students’ movement which stood opposing the grand plan to establish a fraudulent institute and grant recognition.

Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) had agreed to recognize the medical degree awarded by the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) with more than five weeks of clinical training, said Minister Lakshman Kiriella. 

“I say this to you because you are young and you can be misled…,” the minister continued.

Nothing could be further from truth and there was only one person who was misleading the students of Sri Lanka Institute of Advanced Technological Education on that day, Minister Lakshman KIriella himself.

The Sri Lanka Medical Council has denied such a decision and as far as this writer could confirm no such decision was made to date at the Council of the SLMC. In fact, as the Registrar of the SLMC had explained, the council has appointed a subcommittee to look in to the possibility of a “bridging course” in an eventuality of SLMC being directed by the court of law to register those students who had already completed the course at SAITM.

The Committee comprises of Prof Narada Warnasuriya (Chairman), Prof Rezvi Sheriff, Prof Harsha Seneviratne, Prof Jennifer Perera, Dr S Raviraj, Prof Sisira Siribaddana and Prof Nilanthi de Silva (Rapporteur).

As far as it is known, this subcommittee has not produced a finalized report and the council has not agreed upon a final time frame for the possible bridging course.

On the above context comes the greatest revelation which for some strange reason was “hidden” from many inquiries conducted by relevant authorities. The writer reliably learned that two of the essential clinical components for the completion of MBBS degree; Community medicine and Psychiatry’ has not been completed by the students of SAITM.

In a letter dated January 4, 2018, Registrar SLMC has inquired from the relevant Regional Director of Health Services, Dr S M Arnold whether the training of Community Medicine for the students of SAITM was adequate or not?

The response forwarded by the regional director is a written submission by the Additional Medical Officer of Health, Kaduwela which states as follows.

“A community Medicine Appointment was not conducted for the students of SAITM by the MOH office Kaduwela.”

“None of the medical officers of MOH Kaduwela were involved in providing any training on Community Medicine for SAITM students”

Therefore, those students of SAITM who claim that they have completed MBBS have not done a community medicine training.

It is also learned very reliably that Dr Vajira Dharmawardene, Consultant Psychiatrist, has also responded to the query by the SLMC and stated that the students of SAITM had not done a proper Psychiatric appointment at B H Avissawella. He further adds that there is no Psychiatric ward at B H Avissawella and hence the students had no exposure to inward patients.

This revelation comes in the midst of SLMC trying to work out how much of a deficit should be covered to close the gap of “grave inadequacy of clinical training” of SAITM students who have supposedly completed their MBBS.

The subcommittee appointed by the SLMC to look in to the inadequacies of SAITM students in their clinical training has noted all these factors and will arrive at a probable time period of additional training if warranted. With the new revelation of entire clinical subjects being missed in the schedule the additional training required could span beyond two years.

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  • 6
    1

    Dr Sankalpa Marasinghe MD,

    All these trying to maintain high standards are well and good …………if it trickles down to the patients!

    Visit any hospital and see for yourself, if you haven’t.

    There are many articles of “maintaining high standards in medical education” almost every day, but not a single piece on maintaining high standards in patient care! Have you ever wondered why?

    If you care for the motherland why don’t you – like Mother Theresa – take up the cause of the neglected patients? And take on the task of uplifting patient-care rather than the good for nothing cockamamie “high standards in medical education?”

    For the plebs out here it’s a daily quandary to figure out who is worse ………….Lankan politicians, the judicial-establishment/lawyers or the quacks!

    Money makes the world go round.

    • 4
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      When we were medical students we did not have any training in Psychiatry in any hospital. It was only psychology lectures in the first year and a two week academic session with a psychiatrist. Did medical schools not produce high standard doctors then. What a medical graduate starting work should know is to pick up psychiatric problems presenting as somatic illness and somatic illness causing psychiatric problems. To say that government medical schools with all their training have produced doctors of high standards is questionable. We have heard about these doctors fleecing patients by ordering tests and performing procedures which are unnecessary. I feel that both Public health and forensic medicine be taken out of the medical curriculum and basic psychiatry knowledge given. Topics in Public health such as nutrition can be covered in Bio-chemistry, immunisation in Paediatrics and Sanitation in Microbiology and communicable diseases in medicine. Similarly topics in forensic medicine such as injuries can be covered in Surgery, morbid anatomy in Pathology, Toxicology in medicine and sexual injuries in Gynaecology.

      • 6
        2

        sankaralingam,
        From where and when did you graduate from medical school?

        • 2
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          I had my academic classes in an institute in Punchi Borella and clinical training in a dispensary in outskirts of Mariakade. This was at a time when English was the media of instruction and admission was on merit. Unlike the present graduates, my degree was recognised world over without the need to sit for any qualifying exams.

          • 0
            2

            You had your training free of charge, the cost borne by all the hard working citizens of SRI Lanka including Sinhalese,Tamils, Burghers, Moors, and Malays. A fact that should be remembered with gratitude, especially in the midst of separatist thoughts.

            • 2
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              Percy AKA Edwin, Sinhalised recent kallathoni immigrant Tamil Nadu karawa descendant, just because Tamils received free education does not mean that they should be treated as second class citizens by a racist Srilanka state. Dump your mahavamsa mind set and let Tamils live as first class citizens at least in their lands of historic habitation which is now proved beyond any doubt.

    • 1
      2

      What is the reference to Mother Theresa? do you want Dr. to provide roof over sick and dying without giving them even an Aspirin like Mother Theresa’s and tell to them suffering is good while she jet set around the world in first class collecting millions from dictator’s and unsavory character’s who oppress their own people.

      Sri Lank got enough quacks already last time I read in thousands. What SL people don’t nee is to legitimize these quacks like’s of former Prez Rajapaksa’s personal Doc ElIanath White. I remember highly regarded and honorable Cricketer Sangakkara thanking Dr. White for his help after the loss of WCC.

      • 2
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        Reference to Mother Theresa is only symbolic. As a person, the world thinks, cared for the sick.

        Beyond that nothing, ………… no one is beyond reproach. If one has time one can find faults even with God or Buddha! …….. Right now just don’t have the time ……….perhaps we can indulge some other time. :))

        Please re-read these 2 lines to find the answer to the rest of your question.

        All these trying to maintain high standards are well and good …………if it trickles down to the patients!

        There are many articles of “maintaining high standards in medical education” almost every day, but not a single piece on maintaining high standards in patient care! Have you ever wondered why?

        That’s it in a nutshell. …………… I hope you can comprehend.

        Have a nice day.

        • 1
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          Too sad you don’t see anything. Srilankan medical officers should be given the due credit for utilizing the least available facilities in the most effective way. The health indices will speak . Being among the best in the region and beyond. No need to talk about the standards of the facilities.

          • 3
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            “medical officers should be given the due credit”

            To some extent this is true ……….. I know a person during internship, although not rostered to work, spent the whole night treating a dying young girl and saved her life and went to work in the morning. But is it the rule or an exception? Take into consideration the weekly wildcat strikes …….. is that an indication of consideration for the patients? Listen to what the patients say when interviewed on TV! There’s always two sides to a story.

            Few months ago I took an old lady – she used to cook for us, now old and retired – to privately consult a well-known specialist from the Colombo hospital. We paid the fee and waited over two hours to see her. When her number came up the old lady got up and walked up to the consultant, I was still seated ……….I saw the consultant already writing while the patient was still walking up to her. One of the old lady’s hands were shaking because of nervousness and due to the time she had spent waiting. Even before the lady could sit down and tell her ailments the consultant thrust whatever she had written-down in to the patient’s hand and expected her to leave so she can see the next one in line. I got up and went and spoke to the consultant, her diagnosis was Parkinson’s which I know the old lady did not have ………

            • 0
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              continued.

              ……… so I had to spend half of the time during the consultation (which we have paid for; mind you!) arguing with the consultant that’s not what the patient had. And I am not in the medical profession by any stretch of the imagination. ……….The consultant was only interested in the money ………….she thought “an uneducated old lady” by herself I can do anything and just collect my money. She happens to be a batch mate of one of my family and when she found out was very embarrassed. ………….. Would you say that was an exception? …….Sad to say, from the stories I have heard, I believe…….that’s the rule. ……..Or would you attempt to convince me that the doctors are different to our politicians or our lawyers? :)) Sure, a few individuals will stand out here and there ………..but the rest are symptomatic of the society we are blessed/condemned to live in.

          • 0
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            cintinued

            To illustrate my point to the worthlessness of a gold-plated medical-education if it does not trickle-down/benefit the patients ……….

            I know a young medical student who volunteered to go and help out for a few weeks in an African country. The “hospital” she worked in had no formally qualified/trained doctors, nurses or midwifes ………they were only people casually trained by volunteer doctors who come there to help-out from some parts of the developed-world but mainly from the US. The facilities they had were worse than in any rural hospital in SL! But the “formally unqualified/untrained” were providing an excellent service to the patients because their “heart” was in it. They were in “health-care” to provide a service to the sick ……..not to make money off them.

            I hope you can make the distinction. Or like many Lankan “adults” do you want to turn it in to a “political football?” :))

            The attempt to put the blame solely on the “facilities” is disingenuous on your part ………..and we both know it! …..Let’s be honest here, if we can. :))

        • 1
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          [Reference to Mother Theresa is symbolic] so I’m correct in thinking patient care you describe in Sri Lanka is similar to that provided by mother Theresa in her care.
          Best patient care in the world will come to nothing if so called medical professional who is in charge of the patient is a half bake quack.
          You wouldn’t take your expensive car to a service center with all the latest testing gear and best customer service if the technician is not properly trained and with a doggy certificate that been hand out for money or connection’s.
          The major difference is car can be replaced patients don’t have the luxury of getting towed to another service center.

          • 0
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            “service centre”

            If the service centre is run by the SL government; certainly not! :))

            Probably will be on strike most of the time ………. I hope that’s a fair statement. Is it?

          • 3
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            Leonard,

            If you don’t like Mother Theresa (bad example :)) …………let’s take Florence Nightingale ………….Happy?

            Simply put, the point I was trying to make, is that, there is a humongous effort to make sure that the medical education is top notch. Many people have come forward to speak on the behalf of that task with missionary zeal …….Carlo et al ……….. and that’s all well and good.

            But where is the missionary zeal to improve health-care for the patients? Who is the iconic figure/organization leading that effort – if there is such an effort?

            If the gold plated education has trickled down to benefit the patients ……..why is that any two bit politician – let alone the former and present presidents, prime ministers and most of all the health minister :))) won’t be seen dead in one of the hospitals for treatment – they might just visit :)) ………..Is there a worse damning condemnation than that? ……….. If the pols have no faith in the SL health-system/hospitals ……… you know what the poor patients have to cop!

  • 5
    4

    “SAITM Students Had No Psychiatry Or Community Medicine Training”
    SAITM is by the Colombo elites for the elites.
    SAITM will work in Colombo for the elites and so Community Medicine Training is a waste.
    The Colombo elite psychiatric cases will go to Singapore.

    • 0
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      KP, What you do not know is that the Psychiatry Final MBBS paper was cancelled by cheating deans for the November 2016 state exam. That is 1/5 part of Final, but cheating deans with Prof. Carlo allowed it, and they have been given internship in December 2017 with a lower grade, inadequate MBBS

  • 1
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    I think Psychiatry is a different department. So, there can be different Degree programs to which the subject Psychiatry is not included. but, for a Sri lanka like country every one should learn about Community medicine. In Sri lanka Ministers are the experts in everything. LAW COLLEGES, when it is not the degree program, are for dumb children of the elite as they have to be VVIPs. I Don’t think Kiriella understand it in its full perspective. Anyway, who cares, politicians children do not go to universities. Even if they go, they have administrative jobs in the UN, in the parliament and minister posts.

  • 2
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    All these practical training for SAITM students need not be required or enforced to be needed, if all of them are registered as “Doctors” and allowed to practice only at the Malabe hospital, where the inmates would be RESTRICTED only to the Government Ministers, MPs and their Families and the “Elite” from the associating goons. Then during a short period of time, we will be finding a solution to get rid of these lunatics frequenting that Legislature premises at Diyawnnawa. We need this to be done urgently. The Medical Council and the Courts could help us in this matter and thank you for that support.

  • 0
    0

    Thats an interesting way of looking at it.

  • 0
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    Äs Dumbledore kiriella” any cow can be a doctors ” äs he Said any meeharak can do war. Its good for the Country and People. But These idiots go to Singapur Hospital for renal Problem too.

  • 2
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    Yes I also do not think these standards matter so much. There are a plenty of ‘quacks’. But do we hear any death at their hands. No. It the so called hightly trained who kill. It is in hospitals that patients die. Partly trained – good. Not trained best.

  • 1
    0

    Dr Sankalpa, the standards of the passing out doctors ( for all graduates ) can be easily regulated by having a common exit / boards exam conducted not by the medical council but by an independent body will clear all doubts, I will not be surprised if some of the SAITM graduates performing far better than the so called privileged ones, I am a doctor by profession, recently an elderly lady known to me was hospitalized in Lanka Hospital with multi system involvement who recovered well to be transferred from ICU to regular unit, ended up dying because the staff was busy celebrating X mas and did not bother to do regular suction to keep the air way patent, the very next day she aspirated and died due to further complications, should we still waste our time discussing about the need for so called community and psychiatry postings???

  • 2
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    Doctor I had mentioned this else where but I will repeat this due to its relevance, My father was treated for more than 5 years by leading consultants ( not one quit a few) and was told that his problems ( gait abnormality,memory deficits and urinary incontinence) were age related issues???, take a guess?? turns out he had non obstructive hydrocephalus which was detected so late in Singapore by doing a simple CT scan ( as a doctor you may very well know that he was never examined or treated adequately during those 5 years, no scan ,no work up ,not even detecting clinical findings or bothering to obtain history),do we still need community/psychiatry postings to provide reasonable care for the needed.

  • 0
    0

    Dr. San’s “grave inadequacy of clinical training” ending up as “more than 2 years” to hammer SAITM is an all time joke, as the total clinicals are 3 years and SAITM has received most of it by paid training in 5 different hospitals, apart from Kaduwela and Avissawella. These students had to travel to Avissawella with security guards to be safe from GMOA thugs which gave them good Psychiatry training. No need of Angoda. Why was Psychiatry Final MBBS paper cancelled for state medics 2016.
    SLMC registrar wants revenge for his daughter’s case against SAITM. Biased and should resign.

  • 0
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    This is the latest anti-SAITM voice, fed with all the SLMC details by its anti-SAITM registrar, getting ready to further oppress and delay the practice of these adequately trained doctors. There is no legal provision for SLMC to conduct any exams. for locals however vindictive they are. Consultants who sign them up after training them similar to internship, could have a viva test. In fact an extension of internship is the best answer for Consultants who train SAITM doctors and others. SAITM completed an already agreed curriculum and MBBS, and now should not be added to with retrospective effect. Any new criteria should only apply to new medical entrants.
    What need is there now for locals for Community Medicine projects for those already treated and experiencing alienation due to false accusation. Besides, Psychiatry training is an ongoing training process for anybody meeting with GMOA or IUSF, where the desire to run away becomes strong, like how State finals dropped subject from exam. All these specialty training has to go to completion to benefit even state students who walk in cluster groups through Mulleriyawa Hospital. At this rate ARBITRARY arguments can never end for these jobless verbose biased docs.

  • 0
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    Respected Doc, I promise you this will be the last one from me, this being the worst outcome due to nothing but medical negligence by the doctors of the SLMC, a 60 year old healthy male who was diagnosed with RCC at a very early stage and underwent partial nephrectomy???( mind you the assisting surgeon disagreed with the decision at the time of surgery) ,developed complications because of oozing from the surgical site, with fall in hemoglobin, readmitted after a week and was in the hospital for more than 36 hours with no care what so ever other than one unit of I/V infusion ???? (the documents are clear that no senior consultant including the surgeon who originally had performed the surgery did not attend to this patient during this time period) and was left to die due to hypovolemic shock, and the wife was told that cardiac arrest was the cause of death. Doc, we as physicians very well know what that means, so it really dosent matter what postings a doctor has completed in Lanka..All the above cases are true and well known to me which took place in the last 2 years.

  • 1
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    Dr. Sankalpa, Stop your idiotic arguments given by terror registrar warped by personal mishap. Dr. Carlo said “must topple govt.” Cant you do that without chasing behind SAITM which already got a court verdict for SLMC registration which was also told they were violating the Medical Ordinance. If there are deficiencies like in all state MBBS, they need to be corrected, not hounded. Leave SAITM alone and find your level. Value your local MD but some international training will benefit your mindset to help not hinder. Hang your bridging course and if looking for dirt, will find it everywhere

  • 2
    0

    Most of the current day doctors are like mudalalis.

    What high standard?

    • 0
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      Goraka, These are psychopaths, not just mudalalis, and SLMC Registrar Terry has now started collecting evidence of SAITM MBBS training done several years ago. Surely SAITM taught Community medicine. This requirement of the ERPM mafia to extract money for teaching is well planned with Terry who also in collusion with GMOA, hushed up their illegal opening of SLMC postal votes investigated by Maradana police.
      GMOA will force themselves into SLMC which will be ruined even beyond Karl Marx, at the elections due in January. Enough evidence to sack T Registrar or resign. He is collecting false paper documents against SAITM which was his personal failure. Has the SLMC council authorized all what he is doing, leaking his so called collection to the media. Rigging vote count is high on the cards late Jan. Then GMOA as SLMC hopes to bend Supreme Court against SAITM.

  • 0
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    A temporary Additional MOH has written a letter to Registrar SLMC, both unauthorized, so GMOA thugs can negotiate negatively with SAITM doctors who say he refused to sign them up under GMOA threats. The head of Com. Med. eventually signed up. Instead of these false documents of GMOA to prove themselves, it is not known to outsiders about legitimately completed appointment books which are the genuine documents. Jobless corrupt Registrar MBBS (Con) MUST BE CHASED OUT

    Harsha de Silva commission never planned the path of the current students, who have now had a far superior training in most areas. GMOA envies those places for the Z to follow but ignorantly destroys.

  • 0
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    Dr. Sankalpa, Absence of Psychiatry in Rajarata and paucity of depts. in uni. led to cancellation at the Final MBBS. So why this deranged chase after Com.Med. when GMOA terror stopped signing up SAITM, later corrected. Are you proving that foreign students in Colombo medical college are able to MBBS after admissions with 3 simple passes, but SAITM with UGC entry of 2 credits and 1 simple pass as minimum have no IQ to study for 9 years and MBBS as dumbo killers of patients. This twisted, crazy, weird and insane path helped along by a traumatized SLMC registrar is best abandoned for a compassionate, patient caring, student teaching heart, releasing peace both to you and SAITM in this corrupt and falsified atmosphere of competition when there’s enough for all.

    All MBBS could do with more emergency care, Paediatrics and Obstetrics to avoid crises, but an extended internship in all 4 branches is by far the best option for SLMC wishing upgrade SAITM

  • 0
    0

    This doctor’s brazen statement of “fraudulent institute” of a place he was never invited to test, examine or assess, is a crafty deceitful unauthorized defamatory statement of a mind twisted with that of the well known jobless fraudster registrar T MBBS Con., having collected some false documents for a corrupt purpose against the SAITM. It is so unlike SLMC experienced lifelong MBBS examiner professors trying to fill up deficiencies to bring to completion of SAITM clinical training on a voluntary basis, to sit in Council to authorize MBBS Con registrar to chase after Com..Med. It is ironic that SLMC has already accepted cancellaton of Psychiatry MBBS paper.

    All these lies can be exposed by RTI requesting SLMC minutes. These terrorizing jokers allied with GMOA need to be exposed. Uni. experience is to request genuine documents of completed and signed appointment books, not to chase after GMOA threatened conner’s illegal letters. The profession after GMOA gets into SLMC could well be a selfish, education threatening disaster.

  • 0
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    Doctors must thank colleague Sankalpa for what he calls the greatest revelation “hidden” from the SLMC “bridging committee” uncovered through a witch hunt done by SLMC registrar to produce some false documents initiated under GMOA threat. Whether the government additional MOH letter was even authentic leave alone the fact that it was a lie makes one wonder whether the mode of operation of GMOA to produce court documents is under suspicion. These people opened the SLMC postal votes. The normal procedure is to check the signature books of medical students

    SAITM graduates in Supreme Court had better produce their appointment books with photocopies to their lawyers against these bankrupt, terrorizing and money thirsty frauds of GMOA. Also need to be aware that clinical training in GMOA hospitals can repeat this same drama. Hence there is a need not to agree to sit any illegal SLMC exams. post MBBS. Two year internship covering the 4 branches is a physically safer security option under the current circumstances of lawlessness. There is no need for desperation/frustration as medicine is lifelong learning and caring practice.

  • 0
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    Sankalpa/Terry combo has a big retinue. Now Ruhunu teachers are writing to Terry Registrar to hammer the VP who spoke truth that court verdict grants immediate SLMC registration to SAITM. All these have been trained in medicine to heal not only bodies but also sick minds. But their warped minds are so twisted and corrupt leading to insane arguments.
    These sickos pressure MOH not to give sign up records, even though SAITM students have the payment receipts made to govt. for their training and attend clinics. Govt. hospitals get additional payments for teaching private medics, while tax payer sustained free state medics get Mahapola for boycotting lectures. To say the least they have rabid dog mentality ending in death. All these medics have become like a weird zoo, master minded by zoo keepers.

  • 0
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    Dr. Sankalpa and terrorizing Terry registrar have now been joined by Ruhunu Faculty teachers to swallow up VP who worked with Harsha Committee on SAITM. To what depths can a southern uprising descend. Meanwhile Kaduwela MOH gets paid for the students who continue to train there as per court verdict. Signing up is refused, but the paying in slips of each student being trained there bears truthful evidence as a record for the Head of Com Med to sign up students books. The nation gets the “hidden revelation” exposed as the deeds of the mafia. Its not about “STANDARDS” but is absolutely focused on “PRIVATE MEDICAL EDUCATION” which govt. needs to address effectively.

  • 0
    0

    Sanka, You are a liar in league with the terrorists. Lying to the media is defamation. What kind of medicine are you capable of prescribing to your gangsters. Welikada is waiting.

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