GMOA gives govt one week to resolve crisis Court of Appeal ruling on SAITM issue

Friday, 3 February 2017

The Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA) yesterday gave the President, and government one week to resolve issues stemming from the decision taken by the Court of Appeal on Tuesday (31) regarding the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) before it launched an indefinite strike.GMOA Secretary, Dr Naveen D. Zoysa said the Union had convened an urgent general committee meeting yesterday morning and also met with the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) during which it had discussed the protection of the quality of medical education and the rights of patients. He said that there were a spate of controversies that had arisen with the court’s decision.

The lawyers of the GMOA were analyzing the 42 page verdict of the Court of Appeal, following which the union was ready to make its decision based on legal advice. “We believe that no court in any country would take a decision on an institution which had not been approved by the Medical Council of the country concerned as no one would wish to be treated by a medical officer whose standard of medical education was questionable, he alleged.

Dr Zoysa said the Court clearly stated that the SLMC had completed its task within the powers of its legal framework once it handed over its technical report on the Private Medical College in Malabe to the Health Minister. However the Minister had failed to take any action regarding the report, he accused.

He said the GMOA General Committee had focused on this shortcoming on the part of the Health Minister in this regard.

The GMOA Secretary said that the general committee had also decided to create an awareness among all parties concerned regarding the threat posed to patients’ lives and to pressure President Maithripala Sirisena and government authorities to take necessary measures to safeguard patients.

He warned however that the GMOA would not leave room for Sri Lanka to be the one country in the world to create MBBS doctors without SLMC approval.

The Court of Appeal early this week decided that medical degree holders of SAITM, Malabe could register with the SLMC.

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