“SAITM deficiencies not insurmountable” – A response
Posted on April 8th, 2017
Dr. Neville Fernando Courtesy The Island
April 7, 2017, 9:28 pm
It is commendable that the general public is showing a keen interest on the current SAITM issue which has been blown out of proportion by various fractions. It is our duty therefore to place on record the true facts regarding this issue to clarify the misconceptions among the public which has been disseminated by GMOA, IUSF and. various other parties with vested interest.
It is the policy of the prevailing and previous regimes to establish private education, specifically private medical education in the country which has been a long standing deficiency in Srilanka’s higher education system. Therefore we appreciate the current government for steps taken to establish institutions such as SAITM to stem the flow of currency out of the country and also to attract students from neighboring countries. It is commendable that the general public understand that nationalizing institutes such as SAITM would be detrimental to the national education policy and will also have a debilitating effect economically by deterring investors who wish to invest in Srilanka
Furthermore it is pertinent to clarify the erroneous facts in the above mentioned article. SAITM is indeed a fee levying institute, however SAITM has awarded scholarships worth 550 million rupees up to date and still continues to award scholarships to deserving students, thus it is inaccurate to label SAITM as “money motivated enterprise”. Our mission is to compliment the higher education sector of Sri lanka by providing opportunities to the youth to follow courses of study in medicine, engineering, Management and media and to produce quality professionals to serve Sri lanka.
SAITM medical graduates are trained by a highly qualified panel of academics of great repute which consist of 19 professors and over 70 senior lecturers who have served in the state medical faculties and state hospitals. The number of academic staff is in stark contrast to some of the state universities where there’s a clear lack of staff for teaching purposes.
Moreover it is pertinent to mention that Dr. Neville Fernando Teaching hospital is well equipped with state of the art technology and consist of all the relevant units required to cater to undergraduate medical teaching. Furthermore it is our duty to bring to light that it is the GMOA that prevented SAITM students from engaging in clinical training at Homagama Base hospital as agreed upon by the western province ministry of health and SAITM.
As correctly stated in the aforementioned article it is not an insurmountable task to streamline the process of establishing private medical education in Sri Lanka provided that the relevant stake holders participate with genuine interest in solving the present fabricated issue rather than with ulterior motives which is clearly apparent currently.
It is our belief that similar to the justice that was served to the SAITM graduates by the appeals court verdict, the “good governance” government of Sri Lanka will uphold the sovereignty of the judiciary and that an expeditious solution will be given in the near future.
Dr. Neville Fernando