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 tomorrow (May 5) in view of the islandwide strike launched by the Government Medical Officers’ Association (GMOA), the hospital announced today.
SAITM and NFTH Chairman Dr. Neville Fernando said, “The GMOA strikes are launched 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 at 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 Talangama Hospital by the Government.”
He strongly condemned the GMOA’s rejection of the Government stand on SAITM, which aims to standardize medical education in Sri Lanka, subject SATIM students to further clinical training and examinations as per the formalized standards of medical education in Sri Lanka and align the NFTH under the Ministry of Health, the NFTH said in a statement.