Court directs sl medical council to register SAITM’s MBBS graduate

Published : 1:05 pm  February 1, 2017 | No comments so far |  | 


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The Inter Medical Faculty Students’ Action Committee (IMFSAC) yesterday staged a protest outside the Hulftsdorp Court Complex against SAITM. The protesters marched towards Colombo Fort causing heavy traffic on the roads.
Pic by Pradeep Dilrukshana   



By S.S. Selvanayagam  
The Appeal Court yesterday ruled that the petitioner, an MBBS graduate student of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM), had the legal right to be provisionally registered by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) on the basis that she had fulfilled the necessary requirements laid down by the Medical Ordinance.  

Appeal Court President Justice Vijith K. Malalgoda with Justice S.Thurairajah agreeing granted the petitioner’s prayer to quash the SLMC’s decision to refuse provisional registration to the petitioner.  
It also allowed the writ petition filed by petitioner Malshini Suriyarachchi with cost.   
The Court observed that under the Medical Ordinance, the minister is empowered to declare by regulation that any provision of the said Ordinance which enabled the holder of that qualification to be registered shall cease to have effect in relation to such institution.  
It also observed that it was clear that under this Ordinance, the SLMC was empowered to appoint a committee and on its recommendation, the SLMC may submit its recommendation to the minister.  

However, the role played by the SLMC ends at that point and any steps with regard to the SLMC recommendations will have to be taken by the minister under the Provisions of the Ordinance.  
The Court observed that the SLMC without any legal basis exceeded the powers conferred on it.  
The petitioner cited the SLMC, SAITM, Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella, Ministry Secretary, the University Grants Commission, Health Minister Rajith Senartne as respondents. The GMOA and two others filed intervenient petitions.  
Romesh de Silva PC with Sugath Caldera appeared for the petitioner. Ikram Mohamed PC appeared for the SLMC. Chanthani Liyanapatabendi with Ravendranath Dabare appeared for the GMOA. Faisz Musthapha PC with Riad Ameen and Faiza Markar instructed by Gowry Shangary Thavarasha appeared for SAITM. 


Minister’s pro-SAITM stance results in Court ruling: GMOA

By Kalathma Jayawardhane   
The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) said yesterday the Appeal Court ruling directing the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to provisionally register a SAITM MBBS graduate was the result of Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne’s irresponsible behaviour and his SAITM-friendly stance.DM_20170201_A001-12

GMOA Media Spokesman Dr. Samantha Ananda told a media briefing that the GMOA would take stringent action on this matter after its Central Committee meeting on February 2.  
“The Court of Appeal yesterday directed the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) to register medical degree holders of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM),” he said.   
Dr. Ananda said the Health Minister had not taken any action on this matter based on the reports submitted by the SLMC and recalled that President Maithripala Sirisena as the then Health Minister had instructed the authorities to refrain from recognising this institute.   
He said it was really depressing to see the Health Minister continuing to act SAITM-friendly despite such instructions.   
“According to our sources, it is clear that the Health Minister has not presented to Court the correct facts with regard to this institution,” Dr. Ananda said and added that though the GMOA had repeatedly highlighted the fact that SAITM was below the accepted standard required of a medical faculty, there had been no response from the minister.


SAITM hails Appeal Court ruiling

The Malambe Private Medical College also known as SAITM, yesterday hailed the Appeal Court ruling to provisionally register SAITM’s MBBS graduates. 

Chief Executive Officer Dr. Sameera Senaratne said in a statement that according to the laws of Sri Lanka, the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC)  was always obliged to register students with a degree in Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery from a degree-awarding institute, as per section 29(1)(b)(i) of the Medical Ordinance, amended in 1988, in the same manner as a student with a degree from a State medical faculty.   

 “The refusal by the SLMC to grant due provisional registration to SAITM’s MBBS graduates was subsequently successfully challenged in the Appeal Court vide Case No.: CA/WRIT/187/2016,” he said.
 “Today’s decision also reaffirms the legal basis of SAITM as per Gazette Extraordinary No.1721/19 dated 30/11/2011 and subsequently No.1829/36 dated 26/09/2013 in terms of Section 25A of the Universities Act of 1978, and tabled in Parliament, to award the degrees of Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS).” “SAITM has always confidently asserted that its MBBS degree programme is on par with or even better than similar programmes offered by some state/foreign medical faculties”.  
Dr. Senaratne said the historic ruling by the Appeal Court was a victory for SAITM’s MBBS students who can now take their rightful place as fully-fledged doctors in this country.
“They have endured many hardships from opposing parties and now we are happy that justice has finally been served. We will continue to uphold the standards of the medical education in Sri Lanka in collaboration with all relevant authorities to produce doctors of the highest standards,” he said.   
Dr. Senaratne said the ruling is a just recognition of the rights of all institutions such as SAITM and the people of this country, who have steadfastly fought for the freedom of education in Sri Lanka.