Dr. Lloyd Fernando's guest lecture on “Economics that doctors should know”
The guest lecture was held on 15th July, 2016 at Hotel Ozo in Marine drive, Colombo 06 and proceedings began at 7.00pm.
The welcome address was delivered by Dr.Shanti Dalpatadu (President of CMASL). He elaborated on the main event for the day and detailed the efforts made by Dr Anil Jasinghe (DDG NHSL) who is also a past president of CMASL in getting Dr Lloyd Fernando to deliver this guest lecture.
Introducing of the guest speaker Dr Lloyd Fernando was fittingly assigned to Dr Anil Jasinghe. He said Dr Lloyd Fernando is a retired public servant who had held many important positions in the government including being a ministerial secretary and Director General of National Planning. He also has served the Asian Development Bank in Manila and Institute of Policy Studies. He was also member of Economic Council & Salaries and CadreCommission of Sri Lanka. He continues as the programme director for the Master’s Public Administration programme of the Postgraduate Institute of Management (PIM).
An interactive lecture discussion titled as “Economics that doctors should know” with Dr Lloyd Fernando as the guest lecturer followed. He began with the initial remark with similarities between medical science and economics. He further stated that most problems in our economy today is due to the economists not making a proper diagnosis but continuing to treat symptomatically on the ailments of the economy where economists simply jump the gun. He then made an important point as we cannot focus areas in isolation but should view holistically. Further elaborating on the point he emphasized that the current projects like mega polis, port city, ETCA etc. should practice a holistic approach.
Development paradigms were the next area focussed and he classified stakeholders in development to three main categories as State, Private Sector and Civil Society. The economic growth was emphasized as pivot of development but not development per se as it has many other aspects. He also pointed out the symbiotic relationships between economic growth and other areas like education, health, housing, energy, transport etc. Another key point made was that the requirement of state, private sector and civil societies to participate in good governance in order to achieve development. Furthermore it was emphasized that good governance is much more than moral or ethical concept but a technical requirement for development.
Putting the requirements for development into a Greek temple model he emphasized that the foundation is made from good governance where the pillars consist from Savings & Investments, Macro Economics, Infrastructure, Commodities & Services, Education and Health. The roof would be economic development. Touching upon six areas identified as pillars he started by emphasizing the importance of savings at all levels where high cost of burrowing could be minimized when money is available as local level savings. In the area of macroeconomics effects of Fiscal Policy and Balance of Payment were discussed. Relating to current scheme of things, he stated that price control is not the way forward and the effects are short term. To overcome the crisis, increasing agricultural productivity was suggested as the way out. Speaking on education, he noted that there is no synchronization at different levels and the state system needs to focus on producing individuals with required skills for today’s world.
The possibilities of achieving higher levels of performance and contributing more for the development by government service was discussed by restructuring of the service. Management Reform Cells (MRC’s) and Chief Innovative Officer (CIO) are some concepts discussed.
An interesting discussion followed where members of the audience enthusiastically participated. The prospect of state providing free health and education in the future was queried by Dr Denuwara and it was emphasized that it should be continued to do so into the future. Another interesting point raised by Dr Wimal Karandagoda on the past success of Integrated Rural Development (IRD) implemented in Moneragala district which he had witnessed as the RDHS of Monergala. Delighted on the pointraised, Dr Lloyd emphasized that it is exactly the point he was trying to drive across and the same sort of integrated development to take place at national level which is a difficult task. Following an extensive session Dr Dalpatadu intervened in the interest of time by putting across the last question for the session by enquiring into the implementation of Management Reform Cells (MRC) which was answered as that no ministry has implemented the concept so far.
In conclusion of the programme, Dr Sridharan proposed the vote of thanks in the absence of the secretary of the CMASL. He started by offering gratitude of the CMASL to the guest speakerDr.Lloyd Fernando. Dr Anil Jasinghe who was the chief organizer for the event was thanked by the college for all his contribution. All the participants were thanked for their participation. Dr Susantha, Dr Mihindu and the team was acknowledged for their efforts for organizing the event. Gratitude was extended for the sponsors for their generosity and the hotel Ozofor excellent arrangements and facilities. A special mention was made of Dr Balavinothanadministrative assistant of the CMASL.
Cocktails and dinner followed.