The Cabinet has approved a proposal permitting the government to take over the Neville Fernando Hospital attached to the South Asia Institute of Technology and Management (SAITM), Highways and Higher Education Minister Lakshman Kiriella said today.
However, he said the government had decided to allow SAITM to function as a non-state medical college despite demands by student unions of state universities and the Government Medical Officers Association (GMOA) to nationalize it. Minister Kiriella told Daily Mirror today that Dr. Neville Fernando was prepared to handover the hospital to be administered by the government and had not sought any compensation for doing so.
“The hospital property is valued at Rs.3.5 billion. Yet, Dr. Fernando is ready to hand it over without compensation. It will be administered by a board of management and its ownership broad-based,” he said adding that the government would abide by the Court of Appeal ruling and as such SAITM would be allowed to function as a private medical college.
Minister Kiriella and Health Minister Rajitha Senaratne submitted the Cabinet memorandum.