AG tells SC: SAITM to be abolished | Daily News

AG tells SC: SAITM to be abolished

SC directs AG to keep Court informed of the progress

The Attorney General yesterday informed the Supreme Court that a Presidential Committee appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena has recommended to abolish SAITM and resolve other issues pertaining to the SAITM before December 31 this year.

Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Rajaratnam appearing on behalf of Attorney General made these remarks when the appeal petition pertaining to the SAITM issue was taken up before Supreme Court.

Rajaratnam further stated that a nine-member-committee has been appointed to look into the progress of implementation of these recommendations.

The Court directed the Attorney General to make the court aware regarding the progress through a motion.

On a previous occasion a majority of a divided three-judge-Supreme Court Bench granted special leave to appeal with a petition filed by Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) challenging the judgment of Court of Appeal to register a student of South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine Limited (SAITM) in Malabe provisionally as a medical practitioner in terms of section 29(2) of the Medical Ordinance.

A Supreme Court three-judge-Bench headed by Justice Eva Wanasundara fixed the matter for argument on November 21. However, Supreme Court Judge Priyantha Jayawardena yesterday declined to sit on the bench citing personal reasons regarding this appeal application.

On a previous occasion, the Supreme Court had allowed Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) to intervene into the Appeal filed by the SLMC. Through this appeal petition, the SLMC sought an order to set aside the judgment dated January 31, 2017 by Court of Appeal.

The petitioner further sought an interim order to stay the operation of the judgment made in the writ application bearing No.CA Writ 187/2016 by Court of Appeal.

Delivering its judgment on the writ petition filed by a MBBS graduate of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine Limited (SAITM) in Malabe, the Court of Appeal on January 31 held that SAITM is empowered to grant MBBS degrees and further held that the petitioner has legal rights to register at the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) as a medical practitioner in accordance with the Medical Ordinance.

The Court of Appeal had observed that the petitioner, a MBBS graduate of SAITM has no obstacle to register at SLMC as a medical practitioner in terms of the section 29 (2) of the Medical Ordinance.

The Court of Appeal observed that on or around August 30, 2011, the former Higher Education Minister recognised SAITM as a degree awarding institute in terms of section 25 (A) of the Universities Act No. 16 of 1978.

The Court of Appeal further observed that the Higher Education Minister has not taken any steps to revoke the concerned decision in terms of the Section 27 of the said Act.

“SAITM is empowered to grant MBBS degree,” the Court observed.

In its judgment, the Court of Appeal observed that the SLMC has no power to take over the functions of the Higher Education Minister and further observed that the SLMC had acted in violation of Section 19 of the Medical Ordinance when making regulations relating to SAITM.

The Court further held that the SLMC had acted in violation of the Medical Ordinance without having any power to do so.

President’s Counsel Manohara de Silva appeared for the SLMC. President’s Counsel Romesh de Silva with Sugath Caldera appeared for the respondent. Additional Solicitor General Sanjay Rajaratnam PC appeared on behalf of the Attorney General.

President’s Counsel Faisz Musthapha appeared for SAITM. President’s Counsel Gamini Marapana with counsel Navin Marapana and Ravindranath Dabare appeared on behalf of Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA).

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SAITM to be abolished means that those who studied in this legal non state institution have constitutional rights to their degree and also internship training according court verdict. Why do jealous groups want to rob these doctors of their future with false accusations of standards, which are really far superior to state Rajarata and Eastern meds. Let them all complete their rightful education, guaranteed at their entry of an MBBS at the end. Whatever commissions promise, they have to follow a legal path to abolish SAITM eventually after all have completed their degree and not before that. Impossible promise do before January

My simple question from Sri Lankans is that we can or we cannot have private medical universities in Sri Lanka?

Legal SAITM cannot be crushed illegally, by TUs and revolutionary demands, but only through law and order of transference of assets. SAITM main asset is the MBBS degree. SLMC last inspection team deficiencies 2 and half years ago (2015 July) and now outdated as corrections done, never suggested Act 16 ERPM meant for FMG, but followed local UGC pattern similar to KDU which got no Compliance Certificate, but only approval. SLMC cannot change regulations midstream now suddenly for SAITM approval, but obey the law as it stood then. Transfer to new institute includes all these assets. This basic, valuable MBBS for postgraduate work later and continual updating for practice throughout their lives, is a fact well known by doctors with hidden agendas. It should not be broken up but allowed to go to completion by itself like NCMC in 1990. If one registers for PhD and then is pushed into another institute, who will give the degree and by what name of identification for recognition without a long drawn battle once again. Justice must be done.

SAITM hospital will never be abolished from a 1000 hearts and their parents who paid for it in millions when their MOU with Homagama and Avissawella hospitals for clinical training was so threateningly obstructed by jealous and wicked GMOA that they hurriedly built the hospital, now thriving. In August, it was freely gifted to the govt. and made free, so poor people too could receive excellent care like the recuperating Sobitha Thera. May these students be blessed 1000 fold fruit for their offering. Hateful, wicked and envious terrorist grabbers, do not understand the language of giving. Their destination is different. We wish you great success, compassion, and loving patient care leading to peace in conflict.

Those who had the right qualifications to study medicine and now completed or completing must be allowed to obtain their degree and with right training must be allowed to practice as doctors. No professional body should object to that fair process in the modern world. Time has come to forget any personal preferences or gains by any organisation for the name of fairness.

All the students studying in SAITM has proper qualifications to get registered in the Sri Lanka medical council as they were selected by UGC supervision. They all have the right of their education. Any rule affecting qualification should not affect retrospectively. There are doctors in GMOA who has only three passes in A/L. They are good medical practitioners. The final qualification is not the advanced level higher marks but the final medical qualification. When the western medicine started in Sri Lanka the medical degree was offered with ordinary level qualification and trained in the medical school. Even though the structure of SAITM is abolished, the right of private medical education should not be abolished. New structure should continue even after the currently recruited students completed their education and new students should be recruited to the new institution through out. If somebody protest this, then the government should stop recruiting students to KDU private medical College and all the private practice of government doctors should be stopped. Not only that but also all the private international schools, degree awarding institutes should be closed. But remember this is impossible. There should not be two way justice only for selected groups. The island mentality should be terminated to stand up like a strong nation.

Allow only government run and no private medical schools in Sri lanka !!. Then you need to ban private practices and channeling services by government doctors. Then the SAITM problem will resolve in a heartbeat.

The vital and critical SAITM issue is SLMC REGISTRATION leading to INTERNSHIP TRAINING. Once SAITM can continue along that path and be able to practice as doctors, all other minor things will fall into place as it happened in the NCMC model which automatically faded away. A new institute can recruit anew with new standards at entry point, allowing SLMC registration of doctors with their new approved level. Supreme court will surely take into account the legality of SAITM pronounced by court of appeal and facilitate this procedure along NCMC model in a meaningful and practical reality of functioning as a doctor.


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