Dr. Neville Fernando Hospital formally handed over to govt.

Dr. Neville Fernando welcoming President Maithripala Sirisena on his arrival to attend the  agreement signing ceremony to transfer the ownership of the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital to the government held at the hospital premises in Malabe yesterday.
Dr. Neville Fernando welcoming President Maithripala Sirisena on his arrival to attend the agreement signing ceremony to transfer the ownership of the Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital to the government held at the hospital premises in Malabe yesterday.

The handing over ceremony of the Dr. Neville Fernando Hospital to the government was held yesterday under the auspices of President Maithripala Sirisena.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed before President Sirisena between the government, represented by Secretary to the Ministry of Health, Janaka Sugathadasa, and founder of the hospital, Dr. Neville Fernando, at the hospital premises.

Under the agreement, Dr. Neville Fernando Hospital will be administered independently by a board of directors and function as a government teaching hospital from August 1, 2017.

Speaking at the event, Minister of Health and Indigenous Medicine Dr. Rajitha Senaratne pointed out that it was the first time in the country’s history that a private owner has willingly agreed to vest his property in the government. “Dr. Fernando has willingly agreed to hand over the hospital without any resistance,” the Minister said, adding that such a large local investment benefitting the state sector should be commended. He also declared that all profession-related issues regarding the Hospital and SAITM have now been resolved, while only the politically motivated issues of various parties remain.

The Minister expressed his gratitude to Dr. Neville Fernando for donating the hospital to the state despite having worked tirelessly to establish the private hospital while also agreeing to broaden the ownership and administration of the institution. According to the Minister, the handover would not have been possible if not for the efforts of President Sirisena, who held discussions with all parties involved in order to eliminate any resistance to the matter.

Dr.Senaratne also ensured that all the current staff of the hospital will be retained.

Meanwhile, Dr. Fernando at the event said that he considers his decision to hand over the hospital to the government as a meritorious act. “Such acts are not alien to my family and I have no regrets or sadness regarding the move,” he said.

He appealed the government to continue providing a good health service through the hospital while maintaining the hospital’s current standards. Under the agreement, Dr. Fernando has not only handed over the hospital to the government but has agreed to pay off the loans obtained to build the hospital. According to Dr. Fernando, he will continue to repay the remainder of Rupees 2 Billion to the Bank of Ceylon.

The Dr. Neville Fernando Hospital, established in 2013 with an estimated worth of Rupees 3.55 Billion, is set across 5 acres and consists of one four-story building and two eight-story buildings consisting of hi-tech and modern medical facilities.

The hospital will be the first government teaching hospital in the country to be named after a medical professional.

The handing over ceremony was attended by Government Ministers, Ministry officials, Management and staff of the Dr. Neville Fernando Hospital, religious dignitaries along with students and parents of the South Asian Institute of Technology and Medicine.


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