Premier impressed by Malabe medical college achievement

Source: The Island, April 7, 2013, 10:23 pm
                by Don Asoka Wijewardena

Some professional organizations, especially trade unions of medical professionals, had been protesting against the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) at Malabe, out of jealousy, said Prime Minister D. M. Jayaratne, after declaring open a 1002-bed ultra-modern teaching hospital belonging to SAITM there last Friday.

The PM said the SAITM had complied with the main guidelines set by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). The organizations against the SAITM were on the warpath alleging there was no well-equipped teaching hospital for PMC medical students to do their clinical work.

But, such an institution had been constructed with all the required facilities.

Sri Lanka's first ever private teaching hospital has been named Dr. Neville Fernando Sri Lanka-Russia Friendship Teaching hospital.

Premier Jayaratne added the Sri Lankan government was grateful to the SAITM Chairman Dr. Neville Fernando for his good work.

SAITM Chairman Dr. Neville Fernando said that he had decided to establish the PMC and the teaching hospital for clinical work without any wish for personal rewards, because he was convinced that the country needed them.

He pointed out that his PMC and the teaching hospital had been severely criticized by some medical trade unions without knowing the real facts of the PMC. He was always willing to accept constructive criticism, but not anti-PMC campaigns. "I am convinced that the true worth of a human being is gauged by the input he contributes to the welfare of the society. I am happy to say that my dream has become a reality," he said.

SAITM Director Dr. Sameera Senartne said that the Dr. Neville Fernando Russia-friendship Teaching hospital was a unique private teaching hospital developed and supported by the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) offering a complete range of services. It was situated in a highly convenient location with clean air and green environment at Malabe, just half an hour drive from Colombo. He stressed that as it was a state-of-the-art teaching hospital would have over 40 eminent professors and well-known senior consultants covering all the specialties on a permanent basis. With 1,002 beds and a floor area of 250,000 sq. ft it would be the largest private hospital in Sri Lanka, Dr. Senaratne said.

Dr. Senaratne said that the specialised one-stop clinics would provide an easily accessible and friendly service. The clinics were supported by a range of diagnostic services and ultra-modern equipment. Dr. Neville Fernando Teaching hospital would also provide the highest standards of clinical skills and nursing care, he added.

The private medical college's aim was to offer high quality medical services at very affordable prices targeting all walks of life. It would offer clinical beds, A/C and non A/C rooms, luxury rooms, VVIP Suites and even a Presidential suite, Dr. Senaratne noted.