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Tuesday, August 27, 2013 (All day)
Business

Dr. Neville Fernando Teaching Hospital to add more benefits in patient care

Prof. Deepal Weerasekara - Director, Dr. Neville Fernando, Chairman, Dr. Sameera Senaratna-Director Administration and Dr. Ananda Samarasekara, Head of Forensic Medicine at the head table

The Dr. Neville Fernando Sri Lanka-Russia Friendship Teaching Hospital in Malabe, built at an investment of Rs. 3.5 billion, will be introducing more beds into the next phase of adding hospital facilities, bringing the total to 1002, in six months time. The teaching hospital is Sri Lanka’s first and only teaching hospital established in the private sector.

Currently, the hospital is undergoing a campaign to further enhance the availability of the hospital’s various facilities and affordability to the country’s population. While catering to the surgical needs and care for its patients, Dr. Neville Fernando, the Founder and Chairman of the hospital emphasized the significance of such an institute to the country’s economical facet.

Prof. Deepal Weerasekara, Director said, “The whole structure of the premises was designed through a Sri Lanka-Russia Friendship initiative and with their help, we had managed to acquire and set up state-of-the-art equipment along the way. Though we have recruited no foreign doctors or specialists, we work to emphasize the significance of recruiting Sri Lankan doctors and staff, all, by the Chairman himself, as well as students who have graduated from the teaching hospital. The hospital has also strived hard to meet all the necessary guidelines from the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC).”

The hospital

The hospital’s laboratory is also undergoing changes where biomedical graduates will be recruited for the conducting of tests within the hospital, making it a straightforward and convenient facility without having to send patients to other hospitals for tests. The hospital offers affordable prices and accommodates rooms that are categorized for patients from low income to higher income groups.

“The OPD service on offer is on par with international standards. With five lecture theatres, an operation’s live telecast is linked to one lecture theatre for the observational training of the students. We embarked on the vision of setting up this hospital for the purpose of offering medical training as well as running a hospital which provides medical care at very reasonable prices. We are able to do this through the revenue we receive from the medical students, where half of the proceeds helps fund the hospital expenses. These prices do not affect the standard of the hospital,” Dr. Fernando added.

“We have introduced OPD services for out-patients for a very reasonable amount of Rs. 150. We will also be enforcing the concept of placing trained triage nurses for the convenience of OPD patients. We are also in anticipation of introducing the traditional entity of Ayurvedic medicine to the hospital to further maintain this conventional means to the country,” Dr. Fernando acknowledged.

A ward. Pictures by Sarath Pieris

Locals have been able to sustain jobs, with the area also fast-becoming a developing area. A special surgery is to be set up in the near future which will cater to patients who will need urgent surgery under serious or congested circumstances. A bus service from the main junction towards the hospital is also under plan to be initiated to help with commuting for locals and patients. This initiative is being prompted by the Private Bus Association. “The hospital’s medical faculty started off medical training with 36 medical students and today, we have reached our eighth batch, totaling to around 500 students at the moment. In September, we will be taking in the ninth batch.

The current batch is special as we granted scholarships to students who had achieved the best A/L results in 2012 and this was through a request by President Mahinda Rajapakse. The teaching hospital is also working to introduce the Postgraduate Course in the near future,” Dr. Neville Fernando said.

While catering to the medical training of its students with the help of Sri Lankan educated and qualified lecturers, the hospital also strives to maintain the standard of offering quality and affordable medical services to their patients.

Comprising of 45 full-time consultants and lecturers, the teaching hospital is the only place of its kind to accommodate such a number, all under one roof. With the clear aim of producing fully qualified, Sri Lankan educated and trained doctors of the next generation, this institute is working to lay the foundation of offering services from all aspects in medicine, through this 100% local industry.

Dr. Fernando further highlighted the immense help that they had received from the former Chairman of the Bank of Ceylon, Dr. Gamini Wickramasinghe and conveyed his gratitude during the period it took for the hospital’s initial stages.