Implementation of Second Language Proficiency Among Medical Professionals




Trilingually competent Sri Lankan Medical Officers with culture of Good Medical Practice


MissionTo raise the competency of pre intern medical officers on secondary language by a systematic and well planned training programme



The need of a tamil language programme for intern medical officers

Government, by circular no: 7/2007 made compulsory to all medical officers who joined the service after 01.07.2007 to acquire proficiency in 2nd language within a period of 5 years in addition to the 1st language as a government policy.


  • In most instances the intern house officer is the first contact officer with the patient in the ward. Acquiring proper language proficiency and its maximum use is best suited during the first on‐call level where majority of patient encounters are taken place. This
    language proficiency benefit will sustain throughout the career up to specialist level.
  •  Pre‐intern period – usually about 10 months lag period between completion of MBBS final examinations at local state Medical Faculties and commencement of internship.
  • After the post internship most of our medical officers should focus their studies towards post graduate examination. Medical Officers doing their Post Graduate exams to become specialists to fulfill the dearth of specialists in Sri Lanka. As such other activities should not affect these pathways which could result in bad repercussions in Health Care service delivery.
  • Ideally what is essential is a well‐designed well oriented and well focused training programme and making necessary facilities, resources available to improve language abilities which is useful in managing the patients.

The Government Medical Officers Association took up the issue and had several discussions with Ministry of Health and Ministry of Language and Social integration and developed a residential training programme for pre intern medical officers at National Institute of Language Education and Training at Agalawatta.

Please read the GMOA proposal on implementation of the official language policy

  • The GMOA proposal made on Implementation of the Official Languages Policy:     Download
  • More details on Implementation of the Official Languages Policy:     Visit Post
  • 2007/7 Language Policy circular   Download

The Benefits to Pre intern doctors from the Language training programme

1. This 11 days residential language course is essential for pre intern medical students prior to commencement of the internship. After obtaining the certificate one of the pre requisite to undergo internship      (Letter by DGHS) download

2. Medical officer fluent in all 3 languages which will eliminate the language barrier with doctor and patient. it will enhances successful management of the patient.

3. You will be exempted from Tamil exam according to 2007/7 circular   Download

4. You will get freedom to focus on post graduate exams after the intern period

5. Can get through Tamil Ebar exam without any difficulty.



Training Programme

  • 11 days residential programme.
  • Limited number of programmes to be schedule till November 2015.
  • There will be Tamil training programmes for Sinhala doctors and Sinhala training programmes for Tamil doctors.
  • It will be held at Agalawatta Language Training Centre.
  • 80 Doctors can be accommodated.

Contributors for the Tamil Language programme



Dr Anuruddha Padeniya President GMOA




  • DR

    Dr Dineshan Ranasinghe- Coordinator Tamil Language Programme

    Weththimuni Damith Tharanga Silva, Former Ex- Co member- Chief organizer of Tamil Language Programme

    Weththimuni Damith Tharanga Silva, Former Ex- Co member- Chief organizer of Tamil Language Programme

  • NZ

    Dr Naveen Zoysa Asst Secretary GMOADr. Saman  Abewardena














Dr Chandika Epitakaduwa Former Secretary GMOA

Dr Megha Ganewatta







  • Dr Nalin Ariyarathne – Ass Secretary GMOA
  • Dr Saman Abeywardana – Former Secretary GMOA
  • Dr Nath Wijesooriya- Treasurer GMOA
  • Dr. Pradeep Dammika- Co-ordinator Tamil Language Programme




Page Edited By Dr Dineshan Ranasinghe 02.12.2014