Who are we

The Sri Lanka College of Pulmonologists is the apex professional organisation representing the field of pulmonology in Sri Lanka. It’s membership consists of respiratory physicians and thoracic surgeons working throughout the country. It’s purpose is to disseminate expertise in the delivery of patient care and to spearhead the advancements in the field of respiratory medicine.

History of the Sri Lanka College of Pulmonologists

The Sri Lanka College of Pulmonologists is the apex professional organization representing the field of pulmonology in Sri Lanka.

Respiratory medicine

Respiratory medicine in Sri Lanka, received prominence in the mid-1900s due to the infectious disease named as tuberculosis.

To quote the eminent respiratory physician Dr C.G. Uragoda from the book “A History of Medicine in Sri Lanka “

“With the decline of malaria in the 1950’s tuberculosis became one of the most important public health problems in the country and this dubious status prompted the government in to an intense phase of activity”

Though initially the prominence was on tuberculosis with time non-communicable respiratory diseases such as Asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and lung cancer became increasingly more prevalent and with developing technological advancements the field of pulmonology has taken tremendous strides in modern Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka College of Pulmonologists

The Sri Lanka College of Pulmonologists has rather a humble beginning.

In 1999 a respiratory disease study group (RDSG) was formed under the presidency of Dr B.J.C. Perera by a group of enthusiastic individuals from varying specialties to bring together professionals of similar interest in respiratory medicine.

Not long after in the year 2000, Sri Lanka College of Chest Physicians was formed as an initiative of Dr Dushantha Madegedara and included Dr P N B Wijekoon, Dr W V Senaratne, Dr J H L Coorey, Dr Munasinghe, Dr Bandu Gunasena, Dr Kirthi Gunasekara and Dr Anoma Siribaddana.

With increasing number of respiratory physicians, in the year 2008 this organisation evolved to form the Association of Pulmonologist of Sri Lanka (APSL) and Dr P.N.B. Wijekoon was elected the first president of the association.

The founder members of the APSL include …

Dr PNB Wijeykoon
Dr A T Munasinghe
Dr J H L Coorey
Dr V W Senaratne
Dr Kirthi Gunasekere
Dr Bandu Gunasena
Dr Anoma Siribaddana
Dr Saman Kularatne
Dr Dushantha Madegedara
Dr Amitha Fernando
Dr Eshanth Perera
Dr Sellaturai Muhundan
Dr Manil Peiris

Its inception was a milestone in the evolution of respiratory medicine as a specialty in the island. The inaugural symposium of the APSL – “Respire – 1” was chaired by Dr Kirthi Gunasekara and was held on the 3rd and 4th October 2009 at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo.

In the year 2012 during the presidency of Dr Dushantha Madegedara an invited oration was introduced at the inauguration ceremony of the academic sessions to pay tribute to the eminent respiratory physician Dr C G Uragoda, a patron of the college.

Thereafter the Association of Pulmonologists of Sri Lanka was uplifted to its College status on the 3rd of September 2013, under the presidency of Dr. Anoma Siribaddana.

This transformation enabled the SLCP to perform in a better framework to expand its global reach and impact The Sri Lanka College of Pulmonology operates as an en bloc member of the European Respiratory Society (ERS) since 2016 and of the Asia Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR) since 2015. We are fortunate to enjoy strong links with these international bodies.

The College office was established on the 02nd July 2012 at the Wijerama House, Wijerama Mawatha, Colombo 7 during the presidency of Dr Amitha Fernando Since its establishment the College has taken valiant efforts to embark on a multitude of initiatives for the greater good of its members, colleagues and the public.

The Annual Academic Sessions is an academic event held annually which is well patronized by both Sri Lankan and International Pulmonologists alike.

RESPIRE’ - The Journal of the Sri Lanka College of Pulmonologists; the official Annual Publication of the College was launched as an initiative by Dr Dushantha Madegedara and Dr Kirthi Gunasekera in 2009, of which Dr Madegedara remains Chief Editor to this day. The journal provides a robust intellectual platform for the colleagues to share their expertise

Important synopsis.

On the request of members of the APSL to the Ministry of Health a decision was taken during the time of Dr Mahipala DDGHS/PHS1 in 2009 to absorb all Respiratory physicians who were initially attached to the district chest clinics in to the respective hospitals whilst they continued to support the chest clinics as technical experts. This decision has been the corner stone for the development of respiratory medicine with in hospitals.

“Chest Hospital Welisara”, the only hospital dedicated to respiratory diseases, received its due recognition as the “National Hospital of Respiratory Diseases” in the year 2013 when it was taken under the direct administration of the Director General of Health Services.

Forming of the assemblies of the College was decided at the Annual general meeting in 2020 as an initiative of Dr Nandika Harishchandra and was brought to effect in 2021.

Paediatric Pulmonologists and Thoracic Surgeons were offered the full membership of the college, as of 2021.

At present, the college has become a closely linked network to over 80 board certified pulmonologists both locally and globally.

We are proud to say that pulmonology has evolved in Sri Lanka and has become a prominent specialty in the field of medicine and a much sought after specialization amongst trainees.

Past Presidents of the APSL and SLCP are as follows;

Association of Pulmonologists of Sri Lanka

[year] – Dr P.N.B. Wijekoon 2009 – Dr Kirthi Gunasekara
2008 – Dr W.V. Senaratne 2010 – Dr Bandu Gunasena
2011 – Dr Dushantha Madegedara 2012 – Dr Amitha Fernando

Sri Lanka College of Pulmonologists

2013 – Dr Anoma Siribaddana
2014 – Dr Saman Kularatne
2015 – Dr Eshanth Perera
2016 – Dr Manil Peiris
2017 – Dr Sellaturai Muhunthan
2018 – Dr Chandana N. Kulathunga
2019 – Dr Saman Kapilawansa
2020 – Dr Nandika Harischandra
2021 – Dr Geethal Perera