Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Private Medical Faculty Saga

This post was triggered by a news article I saw on the dailymirror website, where Gamini Samaranayake had stated that the UGC had'nt granted approval for the establishment of Private Medical Colleges -PMC in Sri Lanka. The self appointed pundits on almost every subject on earth that take great pleasure in commenting on almost every news article on DM seemed to have had a field day in vilifying and distastefully attacking Dr. Samranayake- a very learned and one of the foremost intellectuals in the country.

First and foremost, the decision to establish or not establish a PMC in Sri Lanka is one that Samaranayake is not respnsible for, so let's stop calling a guy who has several doctorates a mutt etc. Of course this behavious is rather typical of Sri Lankans who are easily aroused and blindly start pointing fingers at people in authority, without evening knowing the procedures and protocols that are followed in the public service. It seems to me that everyone is an expert on this matter judging from the comments on DM... before I get down to the nitty gritties of the issue.. lets just say that i am not wholly opposed to a PMC in the country.

The primary issue that has to be dealt with is the quality of these so called graduates. From what i know these Med students will have their clinical appointments at Apollo and Oasis, need i even say that their exposure to severe or even mild truama would be pretty much limited. Add to that the amount of patients at these hospitals are pretty limited, as opposed to a student studying at government medical faculty who would see upto 50 medical or surgical cases a day.

So provided that these graduates pass out, pass the Act 16 exam and qualify for government jobs we would have a bunch of doctors who are book smart but not exactly geared to handle emergency situations. Which would severely compromise the quality patient care.

Not that I am opposed to the idea of PMC... personally i feel very privileged that i had enough marks to get into a government medical school, and i am fully aware that most of my class mates who were probably a lot smarter and a lot more hard working than me couldn't. The issue here is not a case of Uni students being xenophobic to private education... but one must look at the ground realities and understand that the purported PMC in Malabe is one that is destined to produce sub-standard doctors.

Knowing the Sri Lankan public and the politicians who are remarkably quick to start accusing doctors of this that and the other...(take the recent situation where a surgeon was taken to task for performing a so called cosmetic procedure at state expense.. where in fact he was treating morbid obesity in one of the most effective ways acknowledged in the medical community.) this does not bode well for the future of the medical profession in the country.

Of course the politicians in this country qwould relish such an opportunity,,, blame it all on the Docs... cant blame them really, its probably a great way to cover up their swindling of billions of rupees from the state health service.

1 comment:

  1. Its awfully presumptious of you to claim that the private medical insitute at malabe is going to produce 'Sub standard doctors' not even knowing exactly what their curriculum is. As for trauma experience. There is a reason it is caled experience; and with enough exposure a 'book smart' doctor can eventually catch up with the lofty standards of even a government trained one. Also the place at malabe requires its students to spend one year in Russia prior to completion which im sure would entail a good enough traning for them. The government is known to have inefficiencies no matter where it operates, so maybe the smarter of the graduates from these schools will end up being savvier and better qualified than locally trained ones? or maybe even better shools with greater facilities will eventually set up here as well. Private education should be encouraged imo, but im with you in that it should be GOOD quality education.