Sri Lanka medical Education commenced in 1870 and celebrated the one hundred and fiftieth year in 2020. The predecessor of the Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC), the Ceylon Medical Council (CMC), was established in 1927 and it replaced the Ceylon Medical College Council (CMCC). The CMCC recognised the holders of the MBBS degree as medical practitioners and registered to practice medicine and surgery in the country. Following the establishment of the University of Ceylon by the University Ordinance of 1942, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree awarded by it was recognised for registration by the CMC. The name CMC was changed to Sri Lanka Medical Council (SLMC) in year 1972.
There are 11 medical schools or medical faculties in universities, established under the Universities Act 16 of 1978 in Sri Lank of which three have been established recently. In addition there is one medical faculty affiliated to the Ministry of Defense. Since 1972 the SLMC has recognised the MBBS degree of nine medical faculties and rejected one application from a medical faculty not established under the University Act. A graduate possessing a MBBS degree from a medical faculty of a Sri Lankan university or foreign university recognised by the SLMC is eligible to register provisionally (foreign graduates after ERPM) with the SLMC, enabling him/her to undergo internship training for one year at a SLMC-approved hospital of Ministry of Health, Sri Lanka. A doctor with full registration of SLMC is permitted practice as an independent medical practitioner within the country and register in a postgraduate course at the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine, affiliated to University of Colombo.
In the recent past the accreditation process, requirements, indicators, standards and documentation has changed introducing a more technical and professional flavor. The practice of medicine and expectations of the stake holders too have changed. Accordingly to satisfy and meet the present changes and challenges, the Sri Lanka Medical Council established the Accreditation Unit (AU) in 2019. Prior to 2019, the accreditation of medical schools was done by the SLMC itself.
This an independent unit with a Head and five members. The office is located outside the main SLMC building with dedicated staff, equipment, website and financial resources. The AU has appointed qualified reviewers with previous experience in accreditation carried out by the University Grants Commission, to perform the accreditation of MBBS courses of all medical faculties in Sri Lanka. To facilitate the process and ensure quality the necessary regulations (Gazetted Minimum Standards of Medical Education Regulations-2021), application forms and guidelines have been developed. In the accreditation process the AU is concerned with both academic and professional matters. At the end of the accreditation process of the Accreditation Unit of SLMC two outcomes are possible; accreditation or non-accreditation. In the event of non-accreditation, the medical school concerned is granted a period of time, decided by the Accreditation Unit, for remedial action.The Accreditation Unit presently is engaged with the important task of obtaining recognition from the World Federation of Medical Education as its recognised agency in Sri Lanka. Such recognition will permit the doctors with the MBBS qualification obtained from recognised medical faculties of the Accreditation Unit of the Sri Lanka Medical Council to register in postgraduate courses overseas and also to obtain employment in selected countries.