July 17, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government Monday took over Dr. Neville Fernando Hospital in Malabe by signing the relevant agreement between Dr. Neville Fernando, Chairman of the Hospital and the Ministry of Health, in the presence of President Maithripala Sirisena.
Dr. Neville Fernando and Secretary to the Ministry of Health Janaka Sugathadasa signed the agreement.
Accordingly, Dr. Neville Fernando Hospital will be operated as a government hospital from August 01, 2017. The hospital, which is worth Rs. 3.5 billion is equipped with all required facilities for a teaching hospital. It has an area of 180,600 square feet and has been built according to the green concept. The hospital consists of one four storied building and two eight storied buildings.
Dr. Neville Fernando has agreed to pay back all the loans taken by him to build the hospital.
The government will manage the hospital as a teaching 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 government has decided to take over the controversial private hospital as a solution to resolve the controversy surrounding the South Asian institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) affiliated with the hospital.
Speaking at the event, Minister of Health Dr. Rajitha Senaratne said the Neville Fernando Hospital will be transformed into one of the unique hospitals in the country.
He thanked the Chairman of the hospital Dr. Neville Fernando for making a noble contribution to the nation. The hospital is fully open for the public from the 1st of August.
The minister added that rights of the employees of the hospital will be protected and no employee will lose their jobs. Currently 44 consultants and 70 doctors working at the NFTH. He added that the government is committed to safeguard free education and free health in the country.
Minister of Higher Education and Highways, Lakshman Kiriella and Deputy Minister of Health, Faizal Kasim also participated in the event.