Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Medical Education – a complete rethink is needed. It is NOT a sacred cow anymore! They MUST pay, now or later, its NOT fair on the others

A bankrupt Country such as Sri Lanka, cannot afford spend Billions on Medical Education for an intake of 1,000 students per year into 6 State Medical Colleges without any payment of fees.

As Country we MUST prioritize what is important and spend our scarce rupees on what will be of most economic use for the people, bearing in mind our current income levels and affordability of private education for the top half of Sri Lankan Households.

The historic reasons are NO LONGER valid to offer free education for ALL as in every one who enters University. This so called FREE education has NOT helped this Country develop in the way our leaders thought, due to the lack of sense of civic mindedness of those who received this education.

In any other Country, if they provide free education, the Govt. then demands something in return. For example in the US those who are assisted with fees, (not free mind you) are asked to go to rural areas with poor medical facilities to work for 10 years. Ironically in Sri Lanka, it is those who have paid for their education, overseas, and seek registration, and pass the local competency test in Sri Lanka who are sent to these far flung areas such as Padaviya with a high incidence of Kidney Disease to do their time! How crazy is that?

Even today, (back then it was 50%) 20% leave the Country never to return, giving their host Country a free pass worth US$500,000. Another 20% give up work when they get married, 20% do not practice medicine on a regular basis, such as the GMOA leadership, and some who go into politics or business and use their medical background for reasons other than treating patients or research or teaching. Some of them dropping out prior to completion.

Effectively therefore, only half work for 30 years in Medicine in Sri Lanka, of which they spend on average 15 years for the state medical services and the other 15 years working privately or a combination of both.

So, for every practicing doctor in Sri Lanka, the state spends Rs25Million, to get him to that state, far more expensive than the cost of private Medical Education in Sri Lanka, where almost all practice medicine here or overseas, at NO COST to the State, an important point to realize when one considers the best allocation of minimal resources. Student does not appreciate this!

This goes to show that FREE Medical Education is untenable in Sri Lanka.

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