South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine
|South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine Sri Lankan fake University()|
|Motto||Education with Character|
|President||Prof. Neville Fernando|
|Vice-Chancellor||Prof. Malkanthi Chandrasekera|
|Location||Malabe, Sri Lanka|
|Campus||Main Campus, 4 acres (Suburban), Malabe|
|Affiliations||University of Wolverhampton, University of Buckingham, Asian Institute of Technology, Nizhny Novgorod State Medical Academy|
The South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM), formerly the South Asian Institute of Technology and Management, is a privately owned educational institution providing higher education in Sri Lanka. It is the first private sector Green Campus to be established in the country. It has run into controversy with regard to its facilities to award degrees and the validity and legality of the MBBS degrees it awards.
History and background
The South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine was established by Dr. Neville Fernando, a Sri Lankan businessman and former politician. The initial investment was Rs. 800 million, but this had to be increased with the addition of a new block for the Teaching Hospital. As a result, the investment was increased by a further Rs. 1200 million. SAITM is open for academic objectives from January 2009.
The institute is in the city of Malabe, close to the capital Colombo. It is in Sri Lanka's first IT park. Construction was undertaken by the Sri Lankan engineering firm International Construction Consortium (ICC). The building is a five-storied enclosure equipped with state-of-the-art infrastructure. A sophisticated 1000 bed teaching hospital has been constructed for the use of clinical studies, and is opening on the 9th of April 2013.
The South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine was developed to provide university education to students who have successfully completed Advanced Level examinations but are unable to attend state universities due to lack of facilities in them.
Vision: To produce educated men and women of character and be the leading private sector higher education institution in the South Asian region.
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Private Medical Education in SAITM
An article published in Indian Journal of Medical Ethics explained the major problems of private medical education in SAITM. First the article explained that the SAITM is a for-profit organization revenue generation priority which was illustrated by having twice a year uptake of students. The paper argued that this was different from private medical schools in developed countries where these private institutions are heavily state funded and is non-pro profit.
One major argument of the author was the quality of the graduates. Since the primary entry qualification is not the academic merit, but the ability to pay high tuition fees this will certainly compromise the quality of doctors graduated from SAITM. Further the quality of teaching is also questioned because most of the qualified staff members appointed in private institutions is on part time basis or merely for the purpose of accreditation, not for actual academic teaching.
Availability of clinical materials for training in SAITM is questioned because, 96% of inpatient care in Sri Lanka is provided by the government hospitals. Private sector is basically providing the ambulatory care services or consultation services. Private medical faculties have three main problems that threaten quality clinical training; early discharge to avoid cost; terminally ill patients that are unable to examine and disproportionate admission of elderly patients that are unable to provide good histories. These problems will lead to a narrow range of exposure and in addition, rich people who pay for their treatment in proposed private hospital for SAITM are more likely to refuse examination and history taking by medical students. This lack of clinical exposure will seriously affect the quality of training in SAITM.
One major ethical concern in SAITM is the lack of social diversity among medical students. These students are coming from the higher socio-economy class who could afford 6.5 million Sri Lankan rupees for their education. Not only the students are from privileged background, but also the patients will be from same social class who could afford payments for a private hospital. This lack of social diversity has shown to produce a socially insensitive health workforce  and these students will become socially incompetent doctors who are not-sensitive of real issues in Sri Lankan community. In addition, training in isolation from the country’s health system will make these graduates incompetent in practice in Sri Lankan setting, at least for several years. These factors will compromise the future patient care in whole country.
Some peoples’ view is that this will help to reduce the cost of private sector medical care. This is not a reality when considering the enormous amount of money that is paid by these graduates for their education. They will not be able to recover this amount by practicing in the government sector, where the initial salary is around Rs.40, 000. Invariable they will have to engage in private practice and also will have higher fees to compensate their losses. All evidence suggests that private medical schools increase the medical cost in a country.
Faculty of Medicine
MBBS, Sri Lanka
Faculty of Engineering
BSc. Eng (Hons) in Civil & Infrastructure Engineering
BSc. Eng (Hons) in Mechatronics Engineering
BSc. Eng (Hons) in Electronics Engineering
BSc. Eng (Hons) in Industrial Engineering
BSc. Eng (Hons) in Telecommunications Engineering
BSc. Eng (Hons) in ICT Engineering
BSc. (Hons) in Environmental Engineering
BSc. (Hons) in Bio Systems Engineering
- Jayakodi, Jayasri (16 January 2009). "MoU signed to set up first private sector Green Campus". Daily News. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
- Perera, Gayani (1 February 2009). "SAITM for education with character". The Sunday Times. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
- Clash over private medical college, The Sunday Times, September 11, 2011
- Jayasinghe, Jayampathy (5 April 2009). "Whole world open to those with good qualifications". The Sunday Observer. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
- Kodagoda, Anuradha (29 July 2009). "SAITM increases investment to Rs.1200 million". Daily News. Retrieved 1 September 2009.
- Hemmathagama, Ashwin. "SAITM to launch the first Green Campus in Sri Lanka". The Sunday Leader. Retrieved 1 September 2009.[dead link]
- Siribaddana N, Agampodi S, Siribaddana S. Private medical education in Sri Lanka. Indian J Med Ethics; 9(4): 269-71.
- Rannan-Eliya R P, Sikurajapathy L. Sri Lanka: “Good Practice” in Expanding Health Care Coverage”: Research Studies Series Number 3. Colombo, Institute for Health Policy; 2009 Mar 1.
- Shehnaz SL. Privatization of Medical Education, Viewpoints with a global perspective, 2010. Sultan Qaboos Univ Med J. 2010 ;10(1):6-11.