(PRESS RELEASE) – As graduates and students of the MBBS programme at the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM), we sincerely urge authorities to provide a fair and expeditious solution to our current predicament, which has and continues to deprive us from completing our internship training to be fully registered medical practitioners.
We regret that despite the clear directive of the Court of Appeal on January 31st 2017, whereby SAITM MBBS graduates were granted the right of provisional registration, obstacles continue to be placed in our path by various parties with malicious intent, without the greater good in mind.
We were all eligible to pursue our undergraduate training in medicine at prestigious foreign universities. However, we as Sri Lankan citizens, wished to pursue our higher education in the field of medicine in Sri Lanka and SAITM offered us this opportunity.Students registered for the SAITM MBBS degree programme have fulfilled all the stipulated University Grants Commission (UGC) entry criteria and are solely from the Bio Science stream of the A/L examinations. Contrary to various misinformation being disseminated to the public, there are no students from the arts or commerce streams in the SAITM MBBS programme. We further have no hesitancy in submitting our A/L results, as duly required by the SLMC, when applying for provisional registration.
SAITM MBBS students are mentored by respected and experienced professors and lecturers in the country such as Professor Neville Perera (Surgery), Prof. Deepal Weerasekera (Obstetrics &Gynaecology), Prof. Deepthi Samarage (Pediatrics), and Prof. Kolitha Sellahewa (General Medicine), Dr. Narendra Pinto (Orthopedic Surgeon), Dr. Vasantha Perera (Orthopedic Surgeon), Dr. Mahendra Perera (Oncology) and other highly qualified teachers. Most of whom have served in state universities for many years.
The SAITM MBBS programme is regulated by 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.
Further we wish to reiterate that, upon receiving provisional registration we must still learn under an experienced state doctor and undergo further training and evaluations, prior to being granted eligibility to be a practicing doctor. The obstructions to SAITM MBBS students exercising the legally granted right to provisional registration at this point in time, deprives students from completing the programme.
We are knowledgeable, capable and highly committed to assume our rightful place as fully-fledged doctors to serve the people of Sri Lanka.
We urge all relevant authorities to afford SAITM MBBS students the rightful opportunity and provide a firm and fair resolution 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 to the healthcare system and serve the people of this country.