‘GMOA to strike if SAITM report un-released’

The Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) yesterday threatened to go on an all-island strike if the Health Ministry does not release an inquiry report on the controversial South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) by the end of the month.

Addressing a press conference today GMOA Assistant Secretary Dr. Sankalpa Marasinghe said the union had refrained from taking trade union action in September after Health Minister Maithripala Sirisena assured that a five member committee would be appointed to carry out an inquiry on the standards of the institution.

He said a number of medical professionals representing the leading medical organisations in the country had already given evidence to the committee, but the report was yet to be released. “It has been three months since the committee was appointed to look into this issue but the report has still not been released. If the report is not out by December 31 we will go on strike. We cannot wait any longer,” Marasinghe said.

He said the gazette notification was not valid as SAITM received BOI approval when it was formally called the South Asian Institute of Technology and Management instead of medicine, therefore there is no validity to the institution, he said. He said the GMOA will provide evidence in support of the parents of SAITM students who had threatened to take legal action.

Medical organisations had received an appointment to meet the President on January 6 to discuss a government proposal to make changes to the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) including the SLMC presidency and other grievances. “We hope the appointment for the SLMC presidency will not be decided before discussions take place with the President,” he said. (Olindhi Jayasundere)

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