"Broad basing the ownership of the institute will not prove a solution, without changing the model of SAITM when enrolling students to the medical faculty and without giving proper clinical training to such students, a stock market analyst told The Island Financial Review.
President Maithripala Sirisena, Higher Education and Highways Minister Lakshman Kiriella and Health Minister Dr Rajitha Senaratne last week briefed the media regarding ongoing efforts to address concerns of the GMOA, undergraduates and other stakeholders.
A reason for the opposition to SAITM is the sole proprietorship exercised over the institution and directing SAITM to list on the Colombo stock market to broad-base ownership is the real solution to the issue, stock market sources said.
'Even ordinary people can invest in SAITM if they want to, President Maithripala Sirisena told the media last week.
Health Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, who was with the President, said a similar strategy will be pursued with two other medical college ventures proposed by the famous Monash University of Australia, with an investment of $ 1.3 billion and Manipal University.
President Sirisena said SAITM had also been directed to set up a professional and competent Board of Governors as practised by international institutions. Furthermore, SAITM will be required to increase its number of scholarships as well as revise its fees.
These new measures are in addition to previously announced decisions on the SAITM issue including requiring students of SAITM to face a test to be conducted under the supervision of the Sri Lanka Medical Council and the University Grants Commission, clinical training at state hospitals in Homagama or Avissawella and taking over the Dr. Neville Fernando Hospital to be operated as a Teaching Hospital.
The President said 75,000 to 85,000 Sri Lankan students go abroad annually for higher education and if there were private institutions in Sri Lanka it would be a great relief to them as the cost would be much less.