THE STATE OF DEVELOPMENT OF FAMILY MEDICINE IN SRI LANKA AND OUR ASPIRATIONS FOR THE FUTURE

Author(s): 
ADPA WUEGOONEWARDENE 1
1College of General Practitioners of Sri Lanka, Sir Lanka
Text: 
BACKGROUND: General Practitioners have over the years handled a large proportion of the community morbidity in Sri Lanka. With the development of the health care system in the country, it has become structured to a primary, secondary and tertiary care.
After the establishment of the College and incorporation by an Act of Parliament in 1974, the College had an extraordinary period of productive academic activity.
Our primary aim is academic - the establishment and development of quality standards in general practice, active promotion of postgraduate training in Family Medicine, CPD and teaching undergraduates. During the last two decades, the College has become one of the most vibrant academic bodies, and over the years we have convinced successive governments that the family physician plays a pivotal role in a primary health care system of the country, and we are now at the doorstep of this recognition.
Four out of six medical schools in Sri Lanka are teaching family medicine with the support of GP teachers. The postgraduate diploma in family medicine (DFM) and the MD are much sought after by young doctors, and we have made a land mark achievement in conducting the DFM in India.
We have suggested to the authorities that there is a need to, implement a national health scheme by absorbing GPs into a system and ensure an equal distribution of GPs geographically throughout the country. There should be a health insurance scheme for the entire country. We have emphasized these thoughts and trends, at the last WONCA-MESAR conference.