The College of General Practitioners of Sri Lanka (CGPSL) is the apex academic and professional body of General Practice in the country. It had its origins in 1969, and the College currently has a membership of over 500. The CGPSL incorporation Law No.26 of 1974 passed in parliament, followed by amendments to the Act in 1980, and more recently legislation in 2013 which empowers and ensures the College’s validity as an academic body of national importance.
The College is governed by the Council comprising of the president, vice president, secretary, assistant secretary, treasurer and council members who are elected annually. The accounts of the College are audited every six months by accredited accountants and presented at the annual general meeting. The college has its own legal advisor.
In Sri Lanka, the first private medical school in the last hundred years was set up by the College and administered for eight years before being vested by the Government, which is continuing today as the Medical Faculty of the University of Kelaniya.
The College of General Practitioners of Sri Lanka (CGPSL) has brought about a profound change in the academic status of General / Family practice in Sri Lanka, and the first step was the recognition of Family Medicine by the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine (PGIM) of the University of Colombo.
The MCGP Course is a training programme in Family Medicine for postgraduate doctors preparing for the MCGP examination. The College conducts this popular course. This degree is recognised by the Sri Lanka Medical Council as a registrable degree in Sri Lanka.
The College aims to encourage and maintain the highest standards of General/Family practice and to act as the ‘voice’ of General Practitioners on education, training and standards. CGPSL has been striving hard to assist the Ministry of Health, wherever possible, in the planning and implementation of its activities in improving health standards in our country.
The College of General Practitioners (CGPSL) members reacted in an exemplary manner during the immediate aftermath of the Tsunami in 2004. As responsible citizens of this country, the members reached out to the many camps scattered all over the South, East and North and looked into the medical needs of the survivors with other like-minded groups. (Please see “Down the Memory Lane” for further details).
The College works closely with the community to ensure that medical advances are reflected and quickly converted into action plans applicable at the grass root levels to benefit the community at large. “Talk to Your Neighbour Project” spearheaded by College with the support of Ceylinco Life, where school children were used as ambassadors to spread the message as to prevent non-communicable diseases in the community, is a good example of such an initiative.
As “Gate Keepers” of the community attending to their medical needs, we are best poised to understand the challenges faced by the community at large more than any other medical speciality. “Helping Hands” is an initiative in that direction.
Author: Dr. K. Chandrasekher