Medical faculties attached to State universities are currently experiencing a severe shortage of lecturers, the Government Medical Officers Association(GMOA) charged. Its Secretary Dr Harith Aluthge said, though there is a requirement of about 1,600-1,700 lecturers there are not even 800 at present. “With consultants and doctors leaving the country at an alarming rate, and more to follow, maintaining world-renowned status and standards at our State university medical faculties has become extremely difficult,” he said. According to him, though there needs to be a 7:1 student teacher ratio at medical faculties, at present the ratio is about 15:1. He said the 12 medical faculties including the Uva Wellassa University which will resume academic activities soon will release about 2,100 medical students annually in another 4-5 years.
“The government should immediately address salary and allowance issues of medical professionals in the country. It is essential to maintain standards by retaining human resources in medical faculties,” Dr Aluthge said. He said the Sri Lanka Medical Council’s Accreditation Unit was awarded recognition status by the World Federation of Medical Education (WFME) for a period of 10 years from March this year. “This international recognition is given for the high standards maintained in medical education and accreditation process. Not even our neighbouring countries have this recognition status,” he said.