SAITM needs guidance | Daily News

SAITM needs guidance

In the recent past the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) has vowed to abstain from teaching medical students of unapproved medical colleges such as the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM). GMOA further said it would in no way help medical students who have not been approved by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC).

In short GMOA says that the private business educational institutes should improve capital investments and improve the standard of their institute without scrounging the state sector meagre resources, meant for state medical education. These are the best result holders and no one has right to dig into their share! That is ok and it makes sense.

Educational qualifications

In the mean time the Chairman of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) in Malabe Dr. Neville Fernando admitted that not only Minister Senaratne’s daughter-in-law, but also the daughters and daughters-in-law of other ministers in the current government are also studying at the SAITM.

Even though there is heavy criticism of the educational qualifications of those who study at the SAITM, Dr. Fernando said that they had students with better grades -- ‘A’ levels with three ‘A’ s.

That may be but surely all students should have the minimum qualification, three passes in relevant subjects. Since there is private education available for other professions such as engineering, accounting and others, there is no room to object for a private medical college provided the standards are achieved by their own resources.

However Neville was unable to explain the poor standard of his medical faculty and why they demand support from state sector hospitals.

“I built the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital and equipped it with all the modern hi-tech equipment.

This includes six surgical theatres, with one having a camera in the light and which could be focused on the site of the surgery and the picture telecast to the lecture hall where the students are seated.

The 1,000 bed hospital was constructed at an investment of Rs. 2,000 million for the use of students,” Dr. Fernando said.

Private educational institute

Clearly he was investing for profit, and then he should make it viable by improving the standard of the institute. He should not pass the burden to the state sector. Of course, he has the right to continue this private enterprise only if he improves the standard, according to the advice of comrade Carlo and his medical council mates.

There is a campaign to defend the right to exist of SAITM. This campaign is to defend a right of private educational institute in a society where such institutes are approved for all other subjects. On the other hand there is a campaign to abolish SATIM; but they do not campaign against other private institutes who are heavily involved in private education on other subjects. The campaign to abolish private medical college is thus motivated by political organisations who demand inequality within education sector. As such it is a campaign to establish inequality in this society thus undermining the democratic revolution that continues since last year.

Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) Chairman Prof Carlo Fonseka said he would resign if those who pass out from the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) in Malabe were given provisional registration to practice as doctors in Sri Lanka.

Of course no political power has the right to undermine the authority of the SLMC in relation to the medical profession. On the other hand it is the duty of the SLMC to defend the rights of the SAITM and guide it to become a standard medical college. 


 

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