Uphold standards of medical degrees - GMOA
Local students who obtained medical degrees in the past from foreign
universities and are now practicing in State hospitals and private
hospitals as doctors are well qualified and competent because they went
abroad on scholarships given by the Sri Lankan Government and studied in
reputed foreign universities. But now medical degrees can be bought from
foreign institutes, Government Medical Officers' Association Vice
President (GMOA) Dr. Anuruddha Padeniya said.
Addressing a special press briefing held at the GMOA Head Office,
Colombo 7 yesterday Dr. Padeniya said some foreign medical degree
holders who are waiting to pass the ERMP examination conducted by the
Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) have not sat for their Advanced Level
Examination. According to a study conducted by SLMA on a sample of
foreign medical degree holders who failed ERMP found six of them did not
have A/L qualifications and 12 of them had done their Advanced Level
Examination in the Arts stream. Another 119 of them did not have
qualifications to enter local universities.
Dr. Padeniya pointed out that unlike in the past, now there are
'institutes' all over the world which give 'medical degrees' for money
to anyone. Exams similar to ERMP are conduct by other countries in the
world and they call this examination in other names such as PLAB in UK.
In UK, only seven percent get through this examination while the rate of
the number of students who pass ERMP in Sri Lanka is around 40 percent.
A student can sit unlimited number of times for ERMP. If a local
medical student fail his/her final year examination for over six times
he or she has to go home without becoming a doctor. Therefore ERMP (Act
16 Examination) is a must to become a safe doctor and the standard
should be kept as it is.
The GMOA is neutral when it comes to establishing private medical
faculties. The people of this country (Parliament) have the sole right
to decide whether they need or do not need private medical faculties.
The GMOA is only concerned about the standards which produce a safe
doctor because it is the public who will be in danger if the standards
go down enabling anyone to become a doctor. Diagnosing a disease and
treating it is not something simple or can be done without required
intelligence and capability.