MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN
Sri Lanka is a nation which boasts remarkable achievements in health-care statistics in the region. The efficient organisation of the health system in the country as well as the dedicated service of health-care staff at all levels could be identified as the main contributory factors towards these achievements. However until recently only the profession of doctors was considered worthy of a degree from a university. This feature is quite contrast to the developed world and other developing countries where almost all health-care professions have recognised degrees. The uniqueness of each field has to be recognized and respected in order to achieve high standards.
Fortunately in the recent years medical schools in many state universities in Sri Lanka have recognised this defect and have started offering degree programmes in fields of health-care like nursing, rehabilitation, medical laboratory, pharmacy etc. along with medicine.
The Faculty of Health-care Sciences, Eastern University was also conceived with this broad outlook in mind. As the delivery of health-care involves many professions, it is only proper for the Faculty to offer degrees in many if not all the related health fields under one roof.
At present the FHCS offers degree programmes in MBBS and BSc (Nursing), internal and external. The organisational structure and curricula of the programmes have been designed to match contemporary global trends of Outcome Based Education. Problem Based Learning (PBL), Small Group Discussion (SGD), Tutorials etc. are examples of teaching learning techniques followed here. Early clinical exposure and abundant clinical experiences gained from the Teaching Hospital Batticaloa during the undergraduate period are our strength. Steps are underway to start degree programmes in Pharmacy and Public Health in the near future.
In 2016 the Faculty of Health-care Sciences proudly steps into the second decade of its existence. While proudly looking back at our achievements we also respectfully remember the forerunners who have strived against many odds to establish a medical school in the east; namely former chancellors, vice-chancellors, deans of faculties and the founder faculty members of the staff. Steps of establishing a medical school at the Eastern University, Sri Lanka were laid well ahead, as early as the nineteen nineties. The Gazette notification for the creation of the faculty was issued in 2005. However establishing and running the faculty since then has not been an easy task. Batticaloa being a political orphan, the faculty situated here still has many obstacles and challenges to overcome in order ensure its smooth function.
To date the FHCS has produced about 200 medical and 75 nursing graduates all of whom are providing their professional services in the country. Many of our MBBS graduates have been selected for post graduate training in different specialities. Some of our graduates have joined as academic staff and are reading for their postgraduate research degrees. Six and five academic staff members were able to complete their PhD degrees and masters respectively after joining the faculty. Two have obtained board certification as specialists in clinical fields after joining.
The two major challenges we face today are lack of permanent buildings and inability to recruit medical professionals, especially consultant specialists from state service due to policies of the Ministry of Health. Recently, however the government has taken special interest in the FCHS, and measures have been taken to expedite the building processes at Pillaiyarady and Teaching Hospital, Batticaloa. Promises have been made by higher officials regarding release of doctors from the Ministry of Health to FHCS as a special concern and we wait in anticipation.
I wish to express my sincere gratitude towards the Deans of Medical Faculties from the Universities of Colombo, Kelaniya, Sri Jayewardenepura, Peradeniya, Jaffna, Ruhuna, Rajarata and Kotalawala Defence Academy for lending the services of their professors and senior lecturers who help us whole heartedly in teaching activities and assessments. The support rendered by the Director and the staff of Teaching Hospital Batticaloa cannot be overstated.
As a young faculty the FHCS has many advantages. The young and energetic staff are ever ready to face new challenges and ideas. The team spirit among them too is noteworthy. We are prepared to deal with problems through dialogue. The students who register with us too are a diverse and energetic group. They are talented in many fields including sports and aesthetics and they make our lives at the FHCS interesting.
I warmly welcome potential students in the field of Medicine and Nursing and other Health-care to choose FHCS for a better future.
I also invite qualified medical professionals all over the world to join us as academics in your chosen field.
Dr Angela Arulpragasam Anthony
MBBS (Jaffna), MD (Paediatrics) (Colombo)
Faculty of Health-care Sciences
Eastern University, Sri Lanka