ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka President Ranil Wickremesinghe has appointed an expert committee to identify government hospitals that can provide clinical training to medical students from private medical colleges.
A statement from the president’s office said on Tuesday March 14 that the committee is tasked with picking state-run hospitals that can function as teaching hospitals for students enrolled at the General Sir John Kotelawala Defence University (KDU), Dr Neville Fernando Hospital, Lyceum Campus and other universities in Colombo, Kalutara, Gampaha, Kurunegala and Polonnaruwa, without hampering the training of students in state universities.
Private medical colleges have been a controversial topic in Sri Lanka, with leftist student unions and others protesting, most recently and prominently, the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM), which was later absorbed to the KDU after strong protest.
State Minister of Health Dr Seetha Arambepola will chair the committee which will comprise Additional Secretary to the Ministry of Health Dr R M Saman Kusumsiri Ratnayake, Additional Secretary (Medical Services) of the Ministry of Health Dr A K S de Alwis, Chairman, University Grant Commission Senior Prof Sampath Amarathunga, Senior Consultant Surgeon Prof Mohan de Silva, Professor in Surgery, Faculty of Medicine USJP Prof Bawantha Gamage, Senior Consultant Orthopaedics and Trauma Surgeon Dr Narendra Pinto, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, KDU Prof Namal Wijesinghe, Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) President Prof Vajira Dissanayake, Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) President Dr Darshana Sirisena, Executive Director, University Hospital KDU, Prof J Balawardane and Director Nursing (Medical Service), Ministry of Health Mrs R L S Samanmali.
The statement said the committee is also expected to recommend upgrades to hospitals identified for the provision of such training and submit a report on the findings and recommendations of the committee within a period of eight weeks. (Colombo/Mar14/2023)