Medical Has been Evolved

The SRI LANKA MEDICAL COUNCIL is a statutory body established for the purpose of protecting health care seekers by ensuring the maintenance of academic and professional standards, discipline and ethical practice by health professionals who are registered with it.
As presently constituted the Council has representation from medical faculties of the state universities as well as from professionals in the state and private sector.
It is a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal.

About us


The ?Sri Lanka Medical Council? was established by the Medical (Amendment) Act No. 40 of 1998 when the title was substituted for the ?Ceylon Medical Council?.

The Ceylon Medical Council (CMC) was established by the Medical Council Ordinance No. 24 of 1924. The first meeting of the CMC was held on 22nd June 1925 at 3.00 p.m. in the Colombo Medical Library, chaired by the first president, Dr. N. Duncan Walker. The other members of the Council were Doctors J.S.R. Gunawardana, R. Pestonjee, E.A. Cooray, J.O.B. Van Langenburg, Lucian De Zilva, H.M. Peiris, P.J. Chissel, Frank Gunasekera and G. Thornton. At this meeting, Dr. Lucian De Zilva was elected the Vice President and Prof. F.O.B. Ellison, the Registrar. Council meetings were held in the medical library up to January 1930 when meetings were held in the Board Room of the Medical College. The clerical and secretarial work of the Council was carried out by the staff of the Medical College until an office room was provided in the administrative block of the medical faculty in 1968. An office assistant and a peon were recruited with a part-time clerk.

In 1971, the medical faculty requested the Council to vacate its office for expansion of the library and the Council office was shifted to a room on the first floor of the CMA (present SLMA) building at Wijerama Mawatha. The venue of Council meetings then became the Council Room of the Medical Association. After some time, the Council accepted an offer of a bigger room at the SLMA House for the payment of a rent of Rs. 55,000 per month to be paid as an advance for five years and this was accepted.   

The Council tried to construct its own building but could not obtain state land in a convenient place. A site belonging to the Health Department was offered in 1999, behind the premises of the Health Department Sports Club but the architects were of the opinion that the cost for filling the land would be too high. In 2001, the Council purchased a 17 perch block of land in extent at No. 31, Norris Canal Road, Colombo 10 and laid the foundation stone for the building in December that year. The construction of the building was completed in December 2002 and the Council moved into the premises in January 2003.

Registration of Practitioners

One of the chief functions of the Council is to register practitioners engaged in providing healthcare.

The Colombo Medical College was opened in June 1870 and admitted twenty five students. They were awarded a diploma of Licentiate in Medicine and Surgery (L.M.S.). In 1880, the College was named the Ceylon Medical College and the L.M.S. was registrable with the General Medical Council of Britain without further examinations.

The Medical Registration Ordinance was passed in 1905 and persons with L.M.S. (Ceylon) were recognized as medical practitioners and registered to practice medicine and surgery by the Ceylon Medical College Council (C.M.C.C.). Any person registered in a country which recognized this diploma was also registered.

The Medical Registration (Amendment) Ordinance No. 36 of 1908 made legislative provision to register apothecaries and estate dispensers to practice medicine and surgery in the government sector on the approval of the Principal Civil Medical Officer, the equivalent of the present Director General of Health Services.

In 1915, the Dentists Registration Ordinance was introduced to register dentists to practise dentistry.  Following the establishment of the University of Ceylon by the University Ordinance of 1942, the M.B.B.S. degree and the B.D.S. degree awarded by it were recognized for registration in place of the L.M.S. and L.D.S. awarded by the College Council, respectively.

The Medical Ordinance No. 26 of 1927 makes provision for registration of pharmacists, and dispensing of drugs and poisons was restricted only to registered pharmacists and pharmaceutical chemists. There is provision even in the present Medical Ordinance to register Apothecaries (or Assistant Medical Practitioners) and Estate Apothecaries as pharmacists.

The Medical Ordinance No. 10 of 1949 makes provision for registration of nurses. The register of nurses has several parts, Part A for registration of Female General Nurses, Part B for Male General Nurses, Part C for Public Health Nurses, who should be registered as General Nurses and Midwives, Part D for Assistant Nurses, Part E for nurses who practised for more than three years before the introduction of the amendment and Part F for nurses who qualified abroad and satisfied the Council that they possess the knowledge and skill to practise efficiently as a nurse.

Midwives were earlier registered under the Midwives Ordinance No.  02 of 1920.  Provision was made in the Medical Ordinance of 1924 for the registration of midwives. Eligibility for registration as midwives has been restricted to women.

The Medical (Amendment) Act No. 30 of 1987 makes provision for the registration of para-medical Assistants. Persons who were included in this category are: radiographers, medical laboratory technologists, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, electrocardiograph recordists, audiologists, clinical physiologists, speech therapists, chiropodists, dieticians, ophthalmic auxiliaries and clinical psychologists.

The Medical (Amendment) Act No. 40 of 1998 makes provision for radiographers, medical laboratory technologists, physiotherapists and occupational therapists to be registered as professions supplementary to medicine, removing them from the category of para-medical assistants.


The Medical (Amendment) Act No. 25 of 1946 makes provision for the temporary registration of medical practitioners when there is a delay in the award of a degree and subsequent amendment for registration on other grounds. Medical (Amendment) Act No. 30 of 1987 makes provision for persons who are employed as medical officers in government service to be granted registration under Section 31.

The Medical (Amendment) Act No. 37 of 1961 makes provision for temporary registration of medical practitioners, dentists and nurses who are invited by the government to serve the country. This was amended by the Medical (Amendment) Act No. 31 of 1997 where registration is recommended by the Secretary, Ministry of Health, the Director General of Health Services or a Dean of a medical faculty. Registration is restricted for a period of twelve months; the skill and knowledge of the applicant is judged by the Council.
The Medical (Amendment) Act No. 16 of 1965 makes provision for registration of citizens of Sri Lanka who have obtained a degree or diploma from a medical school outside Sri Lanka and recognized by the Council to be registered following a special examination conducted by the Council and after serving internship. The special examination was commonly known as the Act 16 exam and is now referred to as the Examination for Registration to Practise Medicine (ERPM) in Sri Lanka.

The Medical (Amendment) Act No. 15 of 1996 makes provision for registration of citizens of Sri Lanka who have obtained a degree or diploma from a medical school outside Sri Lanka and recognized by the Council, to be registered if they were in employment of the Department of Health Services prior to May 17, 1991.
The Medical (Amendment) Act No.23 of 1955 makes provision for provisional registration of medical graduates to obtain pre-registration experience by serving a period of internship. It includes ?good character? as a requirement for registration of a person.

Erasure of Name from the Registers

The Medical Registration Ordinance of 1905 also makes provision for erasure of the name of a registered person, and the Medical (Amendment) Ordinance No. 26 of 1927 makes provision for erasure on disciplinary grounds. The procedure for disciplinary inquiries currently applicable was published in the Government Gazette No. 757/7 of March 10, 1993.

The Medical (Amendment) Act No. 30 of 1987 introduced the requirement for renewal of registration.




Powers of the Council

The Medical (Amendment) Act No. 30 of 1987 makes provision for the Council to enter and make inquiries at recognized universities and institutions to ascertain whether the courses of study, the degree of proficiency at examinations conducted for conferment of qualifications and staff, equipment and facilities provided at such universities and institutions conform to prescribed standards. If they fail to conform to prescribed standards, the council may recommend to the Minister to withdraw such recognition.

The general duty of the Council is to protect the public and uphold the reputation of the profession. The Council does this by maintaining and publishing registers of qualified persons in different categories to practise each discipline, by prescribing the standard of education and standard of medical education, providing advice on professional conduct and medical ethics and taking action against those who are registered with the council if it appears that they have become unfit to practise and exercise the privileges of registration. 



1. Dr. N. Duncan Walker (June 1925 -Dec. 1926)
2. Lt. Col C.D. Myles ( June 1927 - Dec. 1929)
3. Dr. J.O.B. Van Langenberg (Dec. 1929-Jan 1930)
4. Dr. R. Briercliffe (Jan. 1930 - March 1937)
5. Dr. S.T. Gunasekara (March 1937 - Sept 1941)
6. Dr. S.F. Chellappa (Sept. 1941 - Oct. 1949)
7. Dr. W. G. Wickramasinge (Oct. 1949 - Dec. 1953)
8. Dr. J. Kahawita (Dec. 1953 - Sept. - 1959)
9. Dr. W.A. Karunaratne (Sept 1959 - June 1964)
10. Sir Nicholas Attygalle (June 1964-Dec. 1969)
11. Dr. E.M. Wijerama (Dec. 1969 - Dec. 1974)
12. Dr. S.H.P. Nanayakkara (March 1975-June 1980)
13. Dr. O.R. Medonza (July 1980 - Oct. 1988)
14. Dr. S.A. Cabraal (Oct. 1988 - Sept. 1996)
15. Dr. G.C. Uragoda (Oct. 1996 - February 1999)
16. Dr. H.H.R. Samarasinghe (June 1999 - June 2009)
17. Prof Lalitha Mendis (June 2009 - June 2011)
18. Prof Carlo Fonseka (Jan 2012 - to date)


1. Dr. Lucian de Zilva (June 1925 - Feb. 1933)
2. Dr. Frank Gunasekara (Feb 1933 - March 1952)
3. Sir Nicholas Attygala (March 1952 - May 1952)
4. Prof. John R. Blaze (June 1952 - Sept 1957)
5. Sir Nicholas Attygala (Sept 1957- June 1964)
6. Dr. E.M. Wijerama (June 1964 - December 1969)
7. Dr. W.D.L. Fernando (March 1970 - June 1973)
8. Dr. S.A. Cabraal (June 1973 - March 1991)
9. Dr S.M.G.Wijeroonaratne (March I991-July 1992)
10. Dr. W.S.S. De Alwis (July 1992 - July 1998)
11. Dr. Ananda Samarasekera (August 1998 - May 2009)
12. Dr. Nanda Amarasekera (June 2009 - Jan 2013)
13. Dr. Ananda Hapugoda (Feb 2013 -June 2014)
14. Dr. Lalantha Ranasinghe (August 2014 to date)


1. Prof. F.O.B. Ellison (June 1925 - June 1938)
2. Dr. W.C.O. Hill (June 1938 - March 1939)
3. Prof. Milroy A Paul (March 1939 - May 1982)
4. Prof. H V.J Fernando (Dec. 1980 - Sept. 1994)
5. Prof. P.S.S. Panditharatne. (Sept. 1994 - Feb. 2005)
6. Dr. N.J. Nonis (Feb. 2005 - March 2013)
7. Dr. H.M.S.S.D. Herath - Acting (March 2013 to date)


1. Prof. P.S.S. Panditharatne (Dec. 1993 - Sept 1994)
2. Dr. N.J. Nonis (July 1999 - Feb. 2005)
3. Dr. H.M.S.S.D. Herath (March 2005 to date)

About SLMC

SLMC Building
© 2007-2008 Sri Lanka Medical Council.

Solution by XHTML