I’ll arrive at a just and fair solution: MS

Published : 8:00 am  February 22, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (256) reads | 

By Sandun A Jayasekera
President Maithripala Sirisena said yesterday he would arrive at a just and fair solution on private universities including the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) in consultation with all stakeholders.   

 He met the SAITM students’ Parents Collective and SAITM Chairman Dr. Neville Fernando on Monday at the President’s official residence as one of the moves to sort out this contentious issue.   

“I will study the views expressed by parents and students with the hope of finding a fair solution,” the President said adding that he had also met representatives of the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) the Government Dental Surgeons Association (GDSA) and the University students unions and would meet officials of the UGC and the SLMC shortly.   

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Medical Association (SLMA) said yesterday that as a representative of all grades of doctors in the country, it was not against properly constituted and regulated Private Medical Education and that Private Medical Education and SAITM though related, were two separate issues.  

SLMA President Prof. Chandrika Wijeratne said her association was deeply concerned about the implications of the current situation on the health sector and the people.   

“We consider this to be a defining moment in the history of medical practice in our country which may lead to grave consequences,” she said adding that Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) mandate on maintaining the standards of the medical profession and medical education is now being questioned and this has been brought to light by the recent Court of Appeal verdict.  

Prof. Wijeratne said the SLMA was particularly concerned about the SLMC having limited powers to regulate medical education. 
“Therefore, there is an urgent need to enact the required legislation to empower the SLMC to protect the public from unqualified or substandard medical practitioners. As an initial effort we urge the authorities to enact the required gazette notification for the implementation of the Minimal Standards of Medical Education in our country,” she said.