The MFSAC, I believe are wasting their time, and that of other Medical Students in agitating for the closure of SAITM, the only Sri Lankan based private institution that will offer Medical Qualifications. SAITM charges Rs6.5M for the full course, to qualify to become a medical practitioner.
That’s great because we now have a term of reference as to the value of a Free Medical Degree, courtesy of the Government of Sri Lanka. So all you Medical Students who have entered the various medical faculties of the Universities that have a Faculty of Medicine, (around 1000 a year), count your blessings. You are getting this value FREE, whilst the students at SAITM have to pay.
You are also sadly mistaken if you think that someone will use his own money to build a Faculty so he can charge fees and make a business out of it, to then because you say it must be closed down, give it over to the State!!! Surely if it was you who had to undergo such injustice, you would rather burn the place down!
In fact depending on the Faculty you go to, you have a chance of only getting a fraction of the facilities that the SAITM students get. So don’t waste time trying to close SAITM, spend the time trying to get your colleagues at Rajarata the basic facilities any Medical Student requires which they DO NOT have access to. Please remember that by closing SAITM, the Rajarata students ARE NOT going to get a better education. If it is standards you are concerned about, before looking into the inadequacies of the SAITM, first cover your selves by ensuring that the State Unis are AT LEAST as good. That is the first priority for the sake of your Education.
What are you really worried about? Is it that the new 1000 bed hospital, that Neville Fernando is building will have better facilities to train doctors in the latest techniques than the state institutions? Yes I agree with you as things stand today, there is a question of are the facilities up to snuff and have they got all the bases covered? I also agree with you that they are not, but my contention is that many of the Govt. Uni Faculties that produce doctors have EVEN LESS! Answer that Q first please, before damning SAITM.
Let us clear up some confusing statements from MFSAC. They maintain they are concerned that the private institution does not have the facilities to train doctors to the same standard that the Govt. of Sri Lanka is doing through their Universities. Standards, what do they know about standards? They are students who do not know the difference from one Cadaver to another. There are many top faculty of the Universities who are moonlighting here, and due to the quality of English of the students in SAITM being far superior to those in Govt. Unis, have a huge advantage in the speed of gaining knowledge using all means including the latest learning techniques, of watching live and taped operations on TVs with explanations in English of what is being done and why. There is also a fear that despite the State Students who may have better A level results they are not cut out to be medical practitioners, and just go into it because they got in!! I know I am taking a strong line here. However not everyone who gets the highest mark is cut out to be a good doctor. For free education, it is the easiest method to choose people out of merit to get into the Faculty, and that is why you are probably there, whereas in society there may be 5 other people who did not get into Medical College who make better doctors than you. It is all possible.
I agree that these students are at SAITM because they have the money, as do all those who go overseas at the huge cost of foreign exchange for Sri Lanka, for education. However having money should not prevent them spending it in Sri Lanka. It is admirable to have a private medical school in Sri Lanka to at least attract some of those who otherwise would have gone overseas.
Your priorities, as local Uni Medical Students, are to force the Govt. to give you at least the basics. What should be next? If you value your education at all, as it is a passport to future riches. It is through this, not shutting out your competition that you will improve your knowledge. In fact by agitating you are taking away time you would otherwise spend in increasing the knowledge base you need in that profession.
There are fears that 1000 doctors passing out each year in the state sector is going to make it difficult to obtain employment and training in Sri Lanka. I believe the state should merely improve existing facilities and not increase the intake due to demand, and let the private sector take up the slack, as the state sector produces all the local need, and then some. Funding being the contentious issue.
If the question persists as to the quality of the education at SAITM, one simply requires them to pass the same exam other foreign qualified doctors, to gain the necessary practicing credentials in Sri Lanka, just as that which is required in other countries for locally qualified personnel, to practice in host countries. That should not create a problem and will satisfy some of the concerns of the students who are currently agitating for SAITM’s closure. It is worth remembering that the priority is the quality of care you are able to offer to your patient. It must be of the highest standard for you to feel satisfied in your vocation.