Foreign medical grads languish without local exam

BY Buddhika Samaraweera

Foreign medical graduates have accused the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) of not having conducted the Examination to Register to Practice Medicine (ERPM), which enables such graduates to practise as a medical officer in Sri Lanka, on time.

Those who come to Sri Lanka after obtaining medical degrees from foreign universities are supposed to sit for the said examination in order to qualify as a doctor.

One such graduate, speaking to The Morning, said that each part of the ERPM should be held twice a year under the normal procedure, but in 2020 it was held only once. In addition, it was pointed out that the examination for the year 2021 has not been held yet and that no date has been announced for it either.

“The ERPM was held in June 2019. After that, one part of it was held in December 2020 and the second part was held in June 2021. That means that the ERPM was not held twice in 2020. Also, it has not yet been held for the year 2021, despite the fact that it should be held twice a year,” he added.

He also claimed that due to the failure of the SLMC to conduct this biannual examination properly, nearly 1,500 students have been severely affected.

When contacted by The Morning to inquire about the allegations levelled against the SLMC, its President Prof. Vajira Dissanayake said: “The exam was held in June this year. It will be held again in December this year. Hereafter, every year it will be held in June and December.”

However, when questioned whether the exam that was held in June this year was the second part of the exam first held in December 2020, he was non-committal.