In a concerted effort to empower and support young Sri Lankans to launch careers in the healthcare services industry, Hemas Academy of Healthcare by the Hemas Hospitals Group recently introduced an exceptional scholarship scheme for students looking to pursue a career in nursing and related disciplines. The scheme is aimed at the many Sri Lankans who are passionate about a career in healthcare but are not able to afford such an education due to numerous financial constraints.
“Financial hardships keep many young Sri Lankans back from exploring and leveraging their full potential through a solid education. These setbacks discourage most from pursuing their ambitions, leaving a large pool of talent in Sri Lanka untapped. Therefore, after much research, the Hemas Academy of Healthcare by Hemas Hospitals Group launched the Suwa Shiksha scheme to empower this talent and enable them to become a force for good in their communities while also investing in their future without worrying about financial limitations,” remarked Dr. Lakith Peiris, Managing Director, Hemas Hospitals and Laboratories Group..
“This not only helps to bridge the growing gap in skilled healthcare professionals in the country, but also supports and fortifies the Sri Lankan economy. Further, by endowing the country with groups of trained professionals, we aim to reduce the high scores of rural unemployment among youth, and empower them and raise their standards of living by opening a world of lucrative and fulfilling local and foreign employment opportunities,” Dr. Lakith Peiris also noted.
Hemas Academy of Healthcare offers these scholarships for three courses taught at the academy, where recipients are selected based on their GCE A/L and O/L results along with the marks they obtain on an initial aptitude test. For those preferring to join the 3-year Nursing Diploma, which is equivalent to a NVQ level 6 programme, students need to have achieved three passes at their GCE Advanced Level examinations, while those looking to enroll for a 1-year diploma in Nursing Assistant or a Care Giver require the completion of GCE Ordinary Level examinations.
These scholarships enable students to complete their education at no cost, while also benefiting from a monthly financial allowance to manage their expenses. A percentage of this monthly allowance will also be put into a separate savings scheme on behalf of each student, to be accessed when the student passes on to their second year of employment post graduation. Additionally, scholarship recipients are also given accommodation and health insurance, as well as access to various extracurricular activities such as art competitions, drama competitions, annual tours and training workshops scattered throughout the year.
All syllabi are developed in accordance to the regulations set by the Sri Lankan Vocational Training Authority (TVECH). A nationally recognised Diploma is awarded at the end of each programme, while graduates are also given the opportunity to be employed at their choice of Hospital from among the Hemas Hospitals Group.
Renowned for its well-rounded educational and training experiences, the Academy prides itself on offering internationally recognised National Vocational (NVQ) Qualifications accredited by the Tertiary and Vocational Education Commission (TVEC) with guaranteed post-qualification employment opportunities. This is aimed at improving the numbers of the qualified healthcare professionals within the country, at a time when Sri Lanka’s private healthcare sector is battling an acute shortage of trained medical professionals and increasing unemployment rates among youth.
Several top-tier consultant physicians, paediatricians and doctors serve as visiting lecturers in this institute, while a qualified set of full time tutors and demonstrators are assigned to each key module in all three programmes. Further, in conjunction with the Hemas Hospitals Group, the Academy offers practical trainings for its students during the programme under a set of well qualified healthcare professionals.
A team of 100 students are recruited for one course at a time, with thirteen teams having completed their training already and engaged successfully in fulfilling healthcare professions. The Hemas Healthcare Academy plans to further expand its academic offerings with the introduction of several new courses in the fields of Laboratory Technology, Pharmacology, as well as Phlebotomy and Theater technician certifications.