June 30, Colombo: The Sri Lanka government has decided to consult all stakeholders for proposals to expand the ownership of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) and to take over the Dr. Nevil Fernando Sri Lanka Russia Friendship Teaching Hospital affiliated with the Institute.
The Dr. Nevil Fernando Teaching Hospital in Malabe opened in 2013 with a capacity of 100 private rooms and general wards with 500 beds has been able to provide services to some 3,000 out patients and 100 resident patients per month.
However, due to the prevailing ant-SAITM situation, difficulties have arisen in admitting an adequate number of patients to the hospital for the training of medical students.
Considering the limited availability of tertiary health care facilities in the Colombo and the Dr. Nevil Fernando Teaching Hospital's close proximity to the expressway making it easier for outskirt patients to reach, the government has decided to take the ownership of the hospital which is valued at Rs. 3.55 billion by the government.
Once the loan obtained by SAITM from the Bank of Ceylon has been settled within 10 years, the government will fully take over the ownership of the hospital to the Government.
The government proposes to manage the hospital similar to the present management of the Sri Jayewardenepura Hospital by a Board of Governors appointed by the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine, to provide services to the public free of charge.
The proposals made jointly by Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Dr. Rajitha Senaratne, and Minister of Higher Education and Highways Lakshman Kiriella have received the approval from the Cabinet of Ministers at the cabinet meeting held on 27 June.
Further, it has been also decided that alternative proposals should be submitted to all stakeholders on the expansion of the ownership rights of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM).