SAITM ready for PPP but GMOA insists on 100% nationalisation
With the SAITM fiasco continuing to escalate and with no clear resolution in sight, the management of SAITM has made aware of a possible Public-Private Partnership (PPP) with the Government.
The SAITM management stresses that the PPP will be only limited to the management of affairs and quality control of the hospital and its medical faculty with no dilution of the original ownership.
In August 2015, a special inspection committee appointed by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) headed by eminent academic and physician Prof. Rezvi Sheriff concluded the degree awarded by SAITM should not be registered under the Medical Ordinance Act.
The committee was not satisfied with the student to patient ratio at the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH), stating that it was inadequate to provide the necessary clinical training for students. In the final conclusion of the report this was identified as a main deficiency of the medical education of students at SAITM stating that the general inadequacy of clinical exposure in all areas in terms of numbers and case mix was a grave concern.
In this background the PPP would offer a potential lifeline for SAITM in attracting sufficient patients to its hospital to provide the required clinical exposure as stipulated by the SLMC inspection committee. “Since SLMC has raised certain issues saying that students should be given adequate clinical exposure in terms of number of patients, we have thought to partner with the Government,” said SAITM Vice Chancellor Prof. Ananda Samarasekara.
SAITM Chairman Dr. Neville Fernando presented a concept paper outlining a PPP only for its teaching hospital to the Minister of Health and Minister of Higher Education last year. However the institute has further expressed desire in extending the PPP to its medicine faculty, according to SAITM and NFTH CEO Dr. Sameera Senarathne.
Some measures SAITM is willing to include in the PPP are the appointment of representatives from Ministry of Higher Education and Ministry of Health to its senate and council to ensure better public scrutiny and participation. The institute also intends allocate a number of seats for students who do not get selected to State medical faculties according to their Z-scores under the partnership.
The question remains on what shape the speculated PPP would take, especially in regard to SAITM’s faculty of medicine. “We are ready for a PPP in both hospital and faculty but it does not meant that this would be in anyway handed over for control of the Government,” said Dr. Senarathne.
The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA), the principal instigator against SAITM, has consistently maintained the position that the faculty of medicine of the institute was established through illegal and fraudulent means. It also strongly persists in its insistence that both the faculty and the hospital should be nationalised.
“SAITM Chairman Dr. Neville Fernando and its Board have committed fraud in setting up the institute,” says GMOA Co-Secretary Haritha Aluthge. “On that basis there cannot be any Public-Private Partnership when the private party is an illegal entity.”
SAITM on the other hand accuses the SLMC and GMOA of double standards saying that the clinical training of some foreign medical faculties which are recognised by the SLMC are evaluated in a more relaxed and lenient manner.
SAITM Director of Medicine Prof. Deepal Weerasekara, who was also the Head of Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at University of Sri Jayewardenepura, claimed that Sri Lankan students studying medicine in China were not allowed in labour rooms and that they could only witness a delivery though a screen. Also in Bangladesh male medical students are not permitted to enter labour rooms. “There are students who have not assisted a single caesarean operation but SLMC continues to recognise these institutions.”
Speaking to Daily FT, SLMC Registrar Dr. Terrence De Silva denied the charges saying that foreign medical faculties recognised by SLMC were regularly evaluated and if such irregularities were to occur they would be suspended and removed from the list.
A joint statement on SAITM which was issued by the deans of the eight medical faculties recommended that Section 29 of the Medical Ordinance Act should be amended in order to allow graduates from SAITM to sit a licensing examination administered by the SLMC to obtain registration. However GOMA states that it sternly objects to such actions to amend the act and it should be done only after an elite panel discussion between the Ministry of Health, SLMC and relevant stakeholders.
(Source: FT.LK – By Devin Jayasundera)
- Food insecurity improved in Sri Lanka but prevails within specific regions – FAO and WFP May 29, 2023
- ADB approves $350 Million for Sri Lanka economic stabilization programme May 29, 2023
- Ven. Rajangane Saddharathana Thera arrested May 29, 2023
- Nathasha Edirisooriya remanded till June 7 May 28, 2023
- Fuel quota to be increased from Tuesday May 28, 2023
- India did more for Sri Lanka than IMF – Jaishankar May 28, 2023
- Sri Lanka to Issue digital birth certificates May 28, 2023
the goverment should not give in too much to this so called GMOA as they think there is no world without them, these shameless guys educated themselves with the poor mans and from the man who begs on the street pass out as so called Doctors and black mail the same poor man for his medicine, gone are the days that doctors had some prestige in society now the common man who begs on the street is much more better than these shameless citizens
I agree that the majority of Medical practitioners are getting greedy and that seems to be the trend all around the world because it is big business.When you are sick you are at the mercy of these ruthless doctors.How ever there are still some really good doctors who are genuinely doing their job for the the purpose they are supposed to do their job and that is to serve and help the sick people.
Your language is very , very harsh in your judgement on a learned set of academics ,highly essential part of our society – the doctors of medicine.
You seem to harbour unforgivable hatred towards these men of honour perhaps due to some personal returns from a bad hat or most probably from a misunderstanding.
As for me at eighty five I thank my two doctors- one a physician and the other a surgeon in helping me to lead a useful life atleast s day more.
In this highly commercialized era everybody runs after money. So why not the doctors.
You must be in your youth age group to protest at almost everything.
Grow up, you will understand.
Respect is earned not given or can be purchased
gone are the days that these so called Doctors kept to their Oath I remember when i was small my dad use to take me to a doctor dispensary and the middle of the night and without grumbling at all he used to treat me there were times when The good old doctor made house calls, and in the good old days we never heard of Doctors on strike they never put the poor mans life in danger, Do you know Sir that when these so called academics go on strike so many patients I mean the poor and very poor who cant afford five star medical attention die, they strike but never forget to turn out at private practice at five star nursing homes or channeling centers, some people even pawn there gold jewellery just to get a chance to live another day, so tell me Sir are these so called educated academics really keeping to there oath they take when they pass out as academics with the money collected by the beggar and the popper, one does not need to have a degree to be a human but one should have a heart that bleeds to when one sees a poor man suffering
Maybe you can afford to have luxury but all way think of the poor man please sorry to say sir that Thank god i am not from the era of people who Protests and wastes the time shouting slogans on the roads, I am grown up sir and in my twilight years and thank god with a human heart that cares for the less fortunate God save this country of mine
SAITM conflict is totally based on the enormous struggle of medical mafia for its fear of existence. Any dirty comment or allegation would come from their side to justify their arguments against SAITM but when they fail and opponents comment on the medical mafia they get severely heart.¬!!!! They are the Shylocks of modern era not convinced anything other than the pound of flesh. Some critics named this mentality as ‘KUPPA’ nature of them.
SAITM students are well educated well mannered citizens of this country who deserve their rights to practice as doctors in this country. The government and SAITM together should go to a combined venture to protect them. 100% nationalization is not the answer as we need a PMC to the country.