Sri Lanka has its own unique Ayurveda system based on a string of prescriptions handed down from generation to generation over a period of thousands of years.
You can still see the ruins of ancient hospital complexes which were active centuries ago, and those ruins are the best evidences of how advance the Ayurveda system had been in ancient Lanka. In Sri Lanka, Ayurveda has simply become a way of life. Most “weda mahattayas” (traditional practitioners) refer ancient palm leaf books and the cures are miraculous. The treatments are not limited to treating physical parts of the human body; they treat the mind as well.
In addition to these much respected traditional practitioners who practice within their own villages, in these modern era, Sri Lankan Ayurveda doctors serve in Government Ayurvedic hospitals or run their own practices. The Ayurvedic doctors also hold jobs in private Ayurvedic hospitals, clinics, corporate organizations, spas, health resorts in hotels, etc.
Sri Lankans are able to get a Bachelor’s Degree in Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), which is a 5 year degree programme including a 1 year internship. The Institute of Indigenous Medicine (IIM) of University of Colombo, offer courses in Ayurveda, Unani and Indigenous system of medicine (Sri Lankan traditional medicine) at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. To enter the university programme, GACKE, (A/L) qualification in Biology Science stream is required. It’s also required that you should be a citizen of Sri Lanka and be 18 years or above of age.
For BAMS (Bachelor of Ayurveda Medicine and Surgery), the duration is 6 years, including 1 year internship. BUMS (Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery) is also the same.
Successful candidates will be permitted to practice as an Ayurvedic Medical Practitioner in the island after the registration following the completion of education.
The Ministry of Health controls the Department of Ayurveda, headed by the Commissioner of Ayurveda, the Ayurvedic Drug Corporation and the Ayurvedic Research Institute. The Ayurvedic Medical Council maintains and controls the registration of physicians and code of practice, ethics and conduct. Ayurveda has its own unique quality and thus it treats the person, rather than the disease.