Posted on July 20th, 2017

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

Some of us may agree that there have  been irregularities in admission of students to Saitm medical faculty and we also know that many consultants have their children studying in Siatm .Dr Neville Fernando may have used his influence and goT the approval for both hospital and the college during the successive governments. He was intrepid enough to purchase a land in Malabe and negotiated with the banks to obtain funds to build this state of the art hospital. Obviously no lending bank will release a long term loan to any investor without asking for a collateral.Dr Fernando may have kept the land ,and the hospital as collateral to the bank. In the event of borrower fails to pay loan instalments, bank will carry out a parate execution and takes over the hospital and either sells it to new investor or find a manager and keep the ownership.

We also know that there are few private and State  hospitals being built in Sri Lank with financing from foreign banks  (  including Chinese banks )with low interest rates where government gives sovereign guarantee to pay the loan.

Nawaloka ,Appolo and many other private hospitals were  built or being built with funds from the banks. .Obviously  government cannot OWN the hospital but it will own the management and lease rights .If government undertakes to pay the loan by running the hospital effectively it can pay the loans .We are now building a state of the art shipyard in Colombo where part of the funds are obtained from banks and lease rights are mortgaged .In the event we default bank can take over and give the operating rights to someone else .

If Malabe hospital cannot be run effectively state can still look for a partner or an investor, They can even ask a Russian investor to come forward which in unlikely in back drop of accusations that the government hood winked the people and GMOA .

In this case Dr Neville Fernando has offered the lease rights with condition that it will be owned by the people ,where he and his investment bank has spent colossal amount of money .

What is wrong in that ?

Chinese who build few hospitals, highways, airports and ports  have kept the government guarantee as the collateral to provide loans .If the government fails ,Sri Lanka will be doomed and no international bank will give funds to our country .

GMOA and the opposition with JVP are absolutely wrong in making a claim that government does not own .Government can issue a Gazzette notification under land ordnance and acquire the land with the consent from the bank and place it back as collateral .

We have to agree that private sector is the engine of growth .JVP joining the band wagon of some opposition trying to discredit the government by claiming that the hospital is owned by Dr Fernando .and he will be a chairman ,cannot hold grounds, He is a good entrepreneur and good manager ( at his age) may run the hospital .Poor patients will benefit by having a state hospital in the suburb is a blessing .

Now the fiasco is over, like cricket fiasco with Monkeys and Parrots in the headline after Sri Lankan boys won a record breaking match . We should move forward.

Government SHOULD bring enactments to prohibit  doctors  leaving the country after getting free education and curtail private practice.

Then the search light of GMOA and JVP will change direction.

Will they instigate a strike?

Dr Sarath Obeysekera

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