Govt’s stance over recent events regarding SAITM, GMOA and university students

Govt’s stance over recent events regarding SAITM, GMOA and university students

Govt’s stance over recent events regarding SAITM, GMOA and university students

Written by Lahiru Fernando

25 Jun, 2017 | 9:43 pm

The Government Medical Officers Association halted their strike on Saturday, June 24, following a meeting with President Maithripala Sirisena.

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Speaking on the matter, Minister of Housing and Construction Sajith Premadasa said the association met the President and called off the strike because, had they continued for a couple of more days, “the general public would have taken matters into their own hands and taken action against these doctors.”

Meanwhile, the government has issued a media release on its stance on the recent events.

  • The conditions imposed on SAITM by the government will be announced through an Extraordinary gazette.
  • SAITM will be compelled to halt enrollment and awarding degrees to students until the criteria mentioned in the gazette is fulfilled.
  • The minimum standards of medical education will be gazetted immediately – since SAITM will have to prove – before a court of law – that they have at least the minimum requirements to conduct medical educational activities.
  • Neither the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) nor it’s chairman should receive undue pressure to a point which affects their independence.
  • The curriculum of students currently studying at SAITM will be altered into one which is accepted by the SLMC while a method will also be formulated for graduates of SAITM to be registered with the SLMC.
  • The Attorney General instructed to inform Supreme Court regarding the government’s stance on SAITM.
  • Steps are being taken to convert SAITM into a Public Private Partnership – plans are already in motion to nationalize the hospital attached to the medical college.
  • In order to procure the funds necessary, SAITM will be opened up to the share market or a fund, either government or private, will be set up.

‘Clarifying the government’s stance’

The government says it hopes to engage in discussions with parties concerns in a bit to resolve any other issues that may arise.

University students are urged by the government to return to their education activities and plan out their personal future – considering the enormous amounts of public funds being fed into the free education system.

The government says that it hopes the students who come through the free education system will work toward the common goals of free health service and the national aspirations of the government.

The release was issued to clarify the government’s stance over the matter, after considering the views of the Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Health, teachers, students of both sides and doctors’ associations.

un-opposed, re-elected

Meanwhile specialist doctor Anuruddha Padeniya was re-elected as the GMOA chairman for 2017-2018 following an un-opposed run.

The re-election took place during the GMOA Annual General Meeting on June 24.

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