Medicos’ parents agree on solution

By Dilanthi Jayamanne

The Parents’ Union of Medical Students (PUMS) yesterday said it had agreed that students from the Medical School of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) should be awarded a MBBS degree which was recognized by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC).

 PUMS Executive Committee Member and Media Coordinator, Wasantha Alwis said the parents of state medical faculty students as well as parents of SAITM Medical school students wished to see the issue resolved as early as possible to stop their children from protesting along roads and instead return to their academic work. All groups were ready to make collaborative representations to the President and Parliament regarding the possible solution to the issue. He said that during discussions between the two parent groups, representatives from state medical faculty students and SAITM MBBS undergraduates and degree holders, it had been decided that the Medical degree awarded should be that which could be registered by the SLMC.

 He said as the academics and they themselves had proposed initially that the students should either be awarded the MBBS degree which was given to medical students of Kotelawela Defence University (KDU), Nizhny Novgorod, Russia or any other foreign medical degree which was accepted by the SLMC.

 One of the reasons for the government to lose face during the local government polls was the large scale awareness campaigns which were carried out by parents of state medical faculty students and student unions. The manner in which the SAITM issue was being handled by the government resulted in the victory of the Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP). Key players who proposed solutions to the SAITM issue and those who wanted to manipulate the government decision so that more private medical faculties could be set up in Sri Lanka, threatening the free education system, were defeated as a result of the campaigns carried out by parent and student groups.

 Responding to a question as to what guarantee the parents unions and student unions had of a similar institution like SAITM did not come up if the SLPP’s was to come into power on a later date, he said the Former President and his party members had also been made aware of how inadvisable such a decision would be.

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