• medical volunteering in sri lanka

Sri Lanka

Location2 weeks3 weeks4 weeks
  • Volunteer Program: Sri Lanka
$2,390 AUD$3,095 AUD$3,695 AUD


Ceylon, Teardrop of India and the Pearl of the Orient – As a small island these are just some of its nicknames. Sri Lanka reveals its richness and beauty, with an intensity of affection it evokes in its visitors. Cool off amidst the rolling tea plantations in its centre, to national parks home to exotic wildlife, even the occasional elephant or leopard. Explore Sri Lanka’s cultural side with a visit to the Temple of the Tooth, and ancient sites such as the imposing rock fortress at Sigiriya.

This is a country that is moving on after the shock and tragedy of the tsunami, but which nonetheless offers smiling faces, and to top it all off, the people are friendly, the food is delicious and costs are low.

We are based in the southern province, about one hour south of Colombo, in the area around Galle. Placement locations include hospitals, schools, orphanages and even temples.

Medical Volunteering in Sri Lanka – for students

Medical volunteering in Sri Lanka is based in Galle in the southern province.  The placements are based at a large teaching hospital with over 1500 beds and departments include surgery, paediatric, psychiatric, cardiology, oncology, orthopaedic, neurology, ENT, dermatology, physiotherapy, radiology and Emergency. Hospital conditions are relatively good for a developing country however there is frequently a shortage of beds.

One entire wing of the hospital is allocated to treatment of patients with cancer. The placements are ideal for medical students and electives and can be tailored to reflect your preferences, skills and experience. However please be flexible and take into account the needs of the hospital at the time of your visit. Please advise your preferences on your Application Form.

Medical students are able to join for their medical elective and can shadow the consultants and senior doctors and observe ward rounds, OPD clinics, theatre and surgical operations. Available areas are oncology, neuro surgical and emergency department.  O&G electives are also available at the nearby maternity hospital.  More experienced students may be able to assist with blood tests, vaccines and gain valuable medical work experience looking after patients, helping in the pharmacy or lab, taking vital measurements such as blood pressure and temperature, dispensing medication and assisting with nursing duties.

While medical volunteering in Sri Lanka, you should remain flexible and use initiative in order to get the most out of the placement.

Medical Volunteering in Sri Lanka – for medical professionals

There are many community projects that welcome qualified doctors, nurses and physiotherapists who can assist with seeing patients and/or teach local staff. Medical teams who can undertake specific clinics or procedures such as plastic surgery, cleft palates or bypass surgery are particularly welcome. Doctors require specific approvals from the local ministry of health prior to practicing in Sri Lanka.

Your specific work program will vary depending on the time of your visit and any personal interest or experience, but with a little flexibility and enthusiasm you are sure to have a wonderful experience. Upon arrival in Sri Lanka your local coordinator will discuss the projects with you.

Community Projects include:


We offer placements in a number of local primary schools where the demand for English teachers in Sri Lanka is overwhelming. The majority of schoolchildren speak Sinhalese and, despite English being regularly heard through music and films, Sri Lankan children have very little opportunity to practise speaking the language. Help is needed to develop their confidence, increase their fluency and practise their pronunciation as well as help with their reading, writing, maths, science, art, crafts and/or sports. Make a difference to the lives of the children by helping them gain an education. No formal teaching qualifications are required and we can provide some suggested activities for the classroom.  Medical volunteers are welcomed to undertake health checks as well as provide lessons in health and hygiene.


At both of these projects, there are a growing number of people who need extra care and appreciate some attention.  The children may be from an underprivileged background and need support and stability. Involve yourself in teaching, games, workshops and reading with both the young and the old.  Medical volunteers are welcomed to undertake health checks and provide guidance to the local staff on first aid and management of patients.


The women’s shelter option is for female volunteers only and has been established to provide support and guidance to women who have suffered from domestic violence, as well as being a safe refuge where women can share experiences and rebuild their confidence. Working for this very worthwhile cause can be incredibly rewarding and encourages you to use your creative side to build bonds and engage with the women.


The Centre provides support for children with disabilities to help them develop their educational, social and life skills.  Vocational training is also provided to assist the vulnerable and marginalised members of the community to make handicrafts and sell them through various outlets.  Get involved with a range of activities including art, crafts, singing and taking care of the children.  Assist with their physiotherapy treatments, exercises and games to help improve the lives of these people.  Medical volunteers can undertake health checks and provide guidance to the local staff on first aid and patient management.


Arrival & Orientation

On arrival at Colombo Airport you will be driven to your accommodation, where you will be based for the duration of your stay. Your accommodation will be within a local homestay, the perfect way for you to learn about the Sri Lankan culture, improve your language skills and experience the Sri Lankan way of life. Your air-conditioned accommodation will be clean, secure and comfortable. You may be sharing a room with fellow volunteers and will have an ensuite bathroom. Three meals a day are included as well as bottled water, tea and coffee.

Meals will be typical Sri Lankan cuisine, mainly consisting of steamed rice served with curry made with fish or vegetables often using coconut milk. A typical meal consists of a ‘main curry’, as well as several other curries made with vegetables, lentils and side dishes such as pickles and chutneys. Vegetarians are well catered for. Free WiFi is available.


When to Go 

Sri Lanka enjoys a tropical climate, with an average annual temperature of 29°C.  January is the driest month.  May and October/November are the wettest months with a regular tropical downpour.


Cost (per person)

2 week Volunteer Program = A$2,390
3 week Volunteer Program = A$3,095
4 week Volunteer Program = A$3,695

Durations are flexible – please ask for more details.

Transfers: Airport – Accommodation – AirportDrinks
Arrival induction and orientationItems of a personal nature (ie. laundry, telephone etc)
Accommodation in clean and comfortable home stay with air-conditioning and WiFiTravel insurance
All meals with bottled water, tea and coffeeTravel to/from work daily via tuk tuk or local bus
24/7 Local in-country ground supportPassport and visa fees
On-site Supervisor and Hospital Registration Fees

DocTours T-Shirt and Personalised Luggage Label

International flights and taxes to Colombo



Flights to Colombo include Air Lanka, Emirates, Singapore Airlines, Thai and Malaysian Airlines.


Volunteers are required to submit a recent Working with Children Check or a police report – we can advise on how to arrange this.


Terms & Conditions


Your medical voluntary work may be eligible for CPD points from your relevant college.  We will forward the guiding notes with your travel documents.

We recommend that you advise your student or professional indemnity provider of your medical volunteering in Sri Lanka in advance of travel.

DEPOSIT A deposit of A$495 will be requested after your placement is confirmed.  This deposit is non-refundable.

FINAL PAYMENT is due two months prior to departure.

All foreign nationals travelling to Sri Lanka are required to apply for online Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) before departure by logging onto www.eta.gov.lk . Please let us know if you need any advice or assistance with your visa.

It is a condition of your travel arrangements that you have current travel insurance to cover against cancellation fees, medical expenses (including Covid cover), lost luggage and evacuation.

Please refer to our Terms & Conditions. Deposits are non-refundable once your arrangements have been confirmed.

Please note that all costs are subject to change due to airline increases, taxes, hotel and volunteer price increases, as well as currency adjustments.