Graduates and students of the MBBS programme at the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) have urged the authorities to provide a fair solution to the current predicament.
These students have been deprived of completing their internship training that has halted their registrations as medical practitioners in Sri Lanka.
In a statement issued by the students, “It is with great regret that we continue to face these obstacles that have paved our path by various parties with political schemes and malicious intent, without considering our future. We were eligible to pursue our undergraduate training in medicine at prestigious foreign universities. However, as Sri Lankan citizens seeking higher education in the field of medicine and having fulfilled all stipulated University Grants Commission (UGC) entry criteria from the Bio Science stream of the A/L examinations, we sought the education provided by SAITM”.
A spokesperson for the students said “We strongly refute the claims made by the GMOA and other groups that we are not qualified and reiterate that we are knowledgeable, capable and highly committed to assume our rightful place as medical interns to serve the people of Sri Lanka. We urge all relevant authorities to grant SAITM MBBS students the opportunity that we deserve and provide a firm and fair solution to this pressing issue. We are confident that the Government of Sri Lanka, the Parliament and the legal system will ensure that the due process of law will prevail, enabling us to contribute towards the healthcare system in the country”.
The statement reiterated that, “Upon receiving provisional registration, we still continue to learn under experienced state doctors and undergo further training and evaluations, prior to being granted eligibility to be a practicing doctor. The obstructions to SAITM and the MBBS students deprives us from completing our education. Having spent close to 7 years, we had to seek legal redress as a last resort as the SLMC, who had the ultimate authority to resolve the matter in the early stages, did not have the genuine intention of solving the private medical education issue in Sri Lanka”.
SAITM MBBS students are trainedby eminent professors and lecturers who have served in state universities for years, earning them the respect they boast. The panel of tutors consist of Professor Neville Perera (Surgery), Prof. Deepal Weerasekera (Obstetrics &Gynecology), Prof. Deepthi Samarage (Pediatrics), Prof. Kolitha Sellahewa (General Medicine), Dr. Narendra Pinto (Orthopedic Surgeon), Dr. Sivakumaran (General Medicine), Dr. VasanthaPerera (Orthopedic Surgeon), Dr. MahendraPerera (Oncology) and Prof AnuraWeerasinghe (General Medicine)among other highly qualified teachers.
The SAITM MBBS programme is regulated through the Ministry of Higher Education of Sri Lanka and the final examinations for the MBBS programme are conducted according to the UGC regulations and are held in a similar manner as in state medical faculties. They are conducted by both internal examiners from SAITM and external examiners from state medical faculties and state hospitals. (Colombo Gazette)