Health Minister Dr.Rajitha Senaratne has assured that the government is fully committed to ensure a high quality free education in the island.
He made these observations in Parliament yesterday in response to the Adjournment Motion moved by Joint Opposition Parliamentary Group Leader Dinesh Gunawardena.
During his address, Dr.Rajitha said: “ We assured that SAITM education would be standardized and made available to students to continue with their education. Dr Neville Fernando could only remain as the Chairman. The SAITM would be managed under a board of professionals which would have financial control. Admissions to the SAITM had been halted temporarily.
The Unity Government would not do anything that would affect free education, including medical education. The government would guarantee education to all.
Under this unity government, not only free education is guaranteed, but free health as well. Under this government in which the UNP is a co party, limits to treatment in public hospitals have been lifted unlike during other previous governments in line with their pledges.
Socialism is commendable, but should be tolerable in the country. Socialism should be modernized in such a manner as that of Latin American Socialism. There was no standard even to medical faculties of government universities. It was me who took measures to draft a standard to the medical education in the country. I received it two days ago from the Sri Lanka Medical Council and I asked them to hand over a copy to the Legal Draftsman's Department as well.
This government would take measures to strengthen free education. By 2018, all university students would be given hostel facilities. Kuliyapitiya and Sabaragamuwa hospitals would also be given medical faculties. The intake of the Karapitiya Medical Faculty would be increased fro, 150 to 300. The Moratuwa Medical Faculty too has requested for a medical faculty.
The first Batch of the North Colombo Medical Faculty in Ragama has produced 13 leading professors of medicine. So we cannot belittle the abilities of students of private medical faculties. Medical Faculty in Chittagong, Bangladesh, where our students study medicine has minimal standards.
We have made health service available free for patients. Cancer Hospital patients are given free medicine unlike before. Free drugs were provided for less than Rs 1.5 million. Stents and the eye lenses are provided free to patients."