He said Oasis hospital would need thirty or forty doctors immediately to fill its entire cadre.
"But they are not available," Edirisinghe said. "Either we have to import or we have to depend on those who are working in the government sector. So this is not an acceptable solution to this country's health care problem."
St. Theresa's Medical College, partnering with a medical college of the same name in St. Kitts in the Caribbean will be Sir Lanka's first private medical college.
The college would absorb a few of the tens of thousands who pass the local advanced level exams but fail to make into the limited available state university places, which are run with tax-payer money.
In Sri Lanka only six percent of those who pass the advanced level examination have places in state universities.
Students who have completed their secondary education in international schools as well as foreign students who intend studying medicine are eligible to enter the new college.
"We will give first choice to Sri Lankan students because there’s a lot who come out of international schools," Edirisinghe said.
"They have no place to go because they have no place in the Sri Lankan universities. But their qualifications are enough for bachelor of medicine (MBBS) education."
In Sri Lanka the state has a virtual monopoly in awarding degrees. Many parents send children abroad at great expense to educate their children with a degree, mortgaging their houses and cashing in life-savings.
Private universities could change the situation and also add to the country's knowledge capital stock.
In 2007, Sri Lankan students cost their parents over 60 million dollars, higher education minister Vishwa Warnapala has said.
The British Council said the number of Sri Lankan students going to the U.K. for higher studies is growing 25-30 percent annually.
The MBBS is estimated to cost approximately 10,000 U.S. dollars to complete, said Edirisinghe.
Students also would also avoid the delays faced by those in state universities which are frequently closed due to clashes.
However, there is opposition from state university students unions, to the setting up of private degree awarding instructions in Sri Lanka, where students bear the cost of the education instead of the tax-payer.
A private medical college was initiated in the 1980s but it was later shelved amid protests.
St. Theresa’s Medical College said it has now received government approval.
Officials from St. Theresa’s Medical College said the new college would be evaluated by the Sri Lanka Medical Council, a regulatory body, each year.
Its project consultant Oshala Herath says St.Theresa's is listed under the World Health Organization's (WHO) approved list of colleges.
The Colombo campus of Saint Theresa’s medical college hopes to start this June with a batch of seventy five students who would be selected from the 200 applications ITS has received so far.