Malabe Medical degree not recognized

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

The University Grants Commission (UGC), Board of Investment (BOI) and the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) do not recognize medical degrees offered by the Malabe Medical College as it is neither a registered medical college nor well-equipped to provide medical education.

The Government Medical Officers’ Association found fault with the government for permitting the private sector to operate medical colleges and allowing such institutions to mushroom in the country. The GMOA also emphasized that Ministers should not accept sophisticated medical equipment as donations to hospitals without consulting medical experts.

GMOA Committee Member Dr. Chandika Epitakaduwa told The Island that medical degrees offered by such private institutions cannot be accepted due to split in courses of studies, lack of separate departments for anatomy, physiology, surgery and medicine, lack of qualified academic staff and unavailability of a teaching hospital.

Under these circumstances, the future of doctors passing out from Malabe would be bleak, he said.

Even the selection criteria to the medical college were unclear. The main reason for not accepting the degrees of the college was that the first part of the degree was being done in Sri Lanka and the second part would be conducted in Russia. The College has several shortcomings and medical students there were being taken for a ride, Dr. Epitakaduwa charged.

SLMC Registrar Dr. N. J. Nonis said that the SLMC would not recognize the degrees offered by the Malabe private medical college because the administration had introduced medical education programmes in contravention of the Medical Ordinance. The first part of the Malabe course was done in Sri Lanka and the second part would be done in Russia and degrees offered after conducting courses in two different places cannot be recognized, Dr. Nonis said.

Dr. Epitakaduwa added that the GMOA would ask Ministers to go through the Health Ministry’s Master Plan before accepting donations of medical equipment for hospitals because some Ministers had been creating a mismatch between physical and human resources. The only motive of Ministers was to please their voters without understanding the systematic distribution process of medical equipment to hospitals.

He said that on many occasions political decisions and requirements of the medical profession did not tally. It was the responsibility of Ministers to consult medical experts before donating medical equipment to hospitals because medical experts had been aware of the requirements of hospitals relevant to the Master Plan.

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