First private teaching hospital at last

By Don Asoka Wijewardena

The first phase of the state-of-the-art private teaching hospital built for the Malabe PMC medical students to do their clinical practice will be ceremonially opened by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the first week of October.

It would be a multi speciality tertiary care teaching hospital with a 1,002 bed capacity, South Asia Institute of Technology and Medicine (SAITM) Chairman Dr. Neville Fernando told a media briefing yesterday.

SAITM is the owning company of both the private medical college and the first private teaching hospital.

Dr. Fernando said that the clinical hospital would be named Dr. Neville Fernando Sri Lanka-Russia Friendship Teaching Hospital. The construction was nearing completion and within the 11 months there had been considerable progress in the construction work.

On seeing this monumental project, Dr. Fernando said, those who opposed it would have to repent at last, because the Malabe PMC had followed the required guidelines issued by the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC). The construction of a teaching hospital for medical students was a prerequisite.

The PMC had achieved it despite all the obstacles, he said.

Russian ambassador to Sri Lanka Vldimir P. Mikhaylov said that Sri Lanka was a developing country which had been attempting to streamline the health services. The Russian government was instrumental in helping the Sri Lankan government in a number of ways. The country’s health care system was on par with advanced countries, the ambassador said.

SAITM Director Dr. Sameera Senaratne said that the new teaching hospital would be a boon to the people of the Kelani Valley. Although some trade unions and a few organisations had objected to the opening of a private medical school, the government had realised the importance of private medical education in the country, he said.

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