Scotland’s Aberdeen med students to get clinical training in Sri Lanka’s Asiri Hospitals
ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s listed Asiri Hospital Holdings says it will make foreign medical degree programmes more affordable by tying up with Scotland’s University of Aberdeen to provide clinical training in the island for its MBBS degree students, officials said.
"When it is launched in 2020, the programme would make international medical education more affordable to Sri Lankan students," Chief Executive Manjula Karunaratne told shareholders in the hospital group’s 2017/18 annual report.
The degree programme is approved by the General Medical Council of UK and would enable medical students to complete the first three pre-clinical years in Aberdeen followed by two clinical years at Asiri Hospitals in Sri Lanka, he said.
"Not only would this be a further endorsement of our high clinical standards, it also supports our position as the only private teaching hospital in the country," Karunaratne said.
In 2017/18 the hospital group provided clinical training for 24 med students of government universities.
Aberdeen University was established in the 15th century and is among the top 200 universities in the word.
The Asiri Hospital group consists of four hospitals with a combined bed-capacity of 584 with another hospital opening in Kandy in 2019 with 175 beds. The group has diagnostic unit which operates 13 labs and 51 collection centres around the country.
"Despite the somewhat bleak economic outlook for the country, going forward there are strong indications to suggest that the demand for quality medical services will only continue to grow," Chairman and Managing Director Ashok Pathirage said.
"Making our services more widespread will be the key to deepening our penetration in the market in the years to come. I believe we are well placed in this regard too," he said.
The hospital group has focused on building capabilities around curative medicine, investing in technology for specialised units in the areas of bone marrow transplants, neurology, heart, strokes, radiology and nuclear medicine for high-resolution scans and imaging.
"The last financial year marked a turning point where equal emphasis was placed on preventive medicine, especially in the areas of wellness and wellbeing," Pathirage said.
"The move forms part of our commitment to respond effectively to the visible demographic trends in our country, in particular the ageing population and the high incidence of non-communicable diseases.
An Asiri Hospital Holdings share was trading at 24 rupees on Friday.
Profits grew 1.8 percent from a year earlier to 392.8 million rupees in the June 2018 quarter on slower revenue growth, latest interim accounts showed. The group reported earnings of 35 cents a share in the quarter.
In the June quarter, gross profit grew 3.6 percent from a year earlier to 1.4 billion rupees on revenue growing 4.5 percent to 3.1 billion rupees and cost of sales contracting 5.3 percent to 1.7 billion rupees. (COLOMBO, 24 August 2018)