Free outpatient care at NFTH for distressed public to face GMOA strike

The Dr. Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital (NFTH) in Malabe, which currently operates under the management of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) will open its Out Patient Department (OPD) to the general public, free of charge today in view of the countrywide strike launched by the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA).

The decision comes in the wake of the recent strike by the GMOA, which crippled the Healthcare Services of the country, particularly the OPDs of state hospitals.

Chairman of SAITM and the NFTH, Dr. Neville Fernando said, "The GMOA strikes are against SAITM supposedly in the interest of the public’s health and well being, which they claim are at risk because SAITM students do not have enough clinical exposure. Regrettably, their strikes are taking place at a time when the nation is facing grave health issues and the general public is in need of all healthcare professionals in the country. It’s nothing short of tragic that the GMOA is holding patients to ransom to pursue selfish personal agendas and political schemes."

Dr. Fernando reiterates that the NFTH was established in 2012 after SAITM MBBS students were refused access to state hospitals for clinical training by the GMOA. "Then, too, the GMOA threatened strike action and halted SAITM MBBS students from undergoing clinical training at state hospitals, even after these students were officially directed to the Homagama Base Hospital and Thalangama Hospital by the Government."

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