Volunteer for Medical Care in Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka

Ambalangoda, Sri Lanka Health & Medicine



PMGY’s Sri Lanka Medical Experience is an elective scheme for medical students, pre-medical students and recent graduates (age 17 and older) looking to pursue a career in medicine.

In general, those with little or no medical experience assume largely observational roles. If you are enrolled in a medical or health-related curriculum, you may have the opportunity for some basic hands-on involvement. For example, volunteers usually get the chance to check blood pressure and blood sugar levels at one of our local village campaigns in Ambalangoda.

While previous PMGY volunteers have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc., we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement for participants regardless of their medical experience or background. The medical staff are accountable for you while you’re under their supervision, so it is completely up to them if you are permitted to perform hands-on procedures.

You can choose to spend your time across several departments or just one or two. Our team will do our best to match any specific requirements you have, but this cannot always be guaranteed due to extenuating circumstances.

You will be assigned to a specific staff member to mentor you. Since the staff is extremely busy, we ask our volunteers to be proactive, ask questions and be assertive in requesting additional guidance.

We are delighted to sign off on any paperwork you may require, if you wish to use this program as part of your medical degree placement. Furthermore, if you work at the private hospital you will be provided with a medical certificate at the end of your placement.

This program is not suitable for qualified medics and nurses. Such candidates are best suited to our medical programs in Ghana, India or Tanzania all of which offer a much more in-depth medical experience.


Even in the 21st century, healthcare comes at a premium in many parts of the world. Working in a hospital in Sri Lanka is a great opportunity to get close-up clinical exposure and to learn about a healthcare system in the developing world. You will witness a variety of cases, in striking contrast to what you might find in your local hospital! PMGY’s medical program in Sri Lanka is the perfect way to gain invaluable hospital work experience, while exploring the wonders that this amazing island has to offer!

Field conditions

Recent graduates and applicants from a non-health related background will be placed at a private hospital. Those who are enrolled in a medical or health-related degree program at university will be placed at a government hospital.

The medical staff are accountable for you while you’re under their supervision, so it is completely up to them if you are permitted to get involved in hands-on procedures. While previous PMGY volunteers have been given the chance to administer IV injections, dress wounds etc, we can never guarantee or promote hands-on involvement for participants regardless of their medical experience or background.

Private Hospital Placements (for volunteers from a non-health related degree background)

You will volunteer in a private hospital in Ambalangoda and have the opportunity to volunteer in the following departments:

– Physiotherapy

– Dental Surgery

– Radiology (x-ray machine and computerized radiology)

– Laboratory

– Phlebotomy

– Inpatient Ward

– Outpatient Ward

The private hospital provides a structured observational and informative approach to give participants broad insight into a medical facility in Sri Lanka. Although you will gain invaluable medical insight and knowledge, in our experience, most volunteers become eager for some hands-on work. Since this role is purely observational, we recommend that applicants sign up for no more than 2 weeks on the medical program. While PMGY cannot offer you hands-on medical volunteering, we can welcome you to join our teaching and community projects.

Government Hospital Placements (pre-health, pre-medical, nursing and medical degree candidates only)

PMGY partners with a government hospital located only a 15 minute journey from Ambalangoda. It is a medium-sized hospital with over 500 stations, with 20 doctors and 2 surgeons.

We offer placements in the following departments:

– Outpatient

– Emergency Treatment Room

– General Medicine

– Obstetrics

– Gynecology

– Antenatal

– Postnatal

– Labor Room

– Pediatrics

Your role at the government hospital is largely observational. You may be assigned some very basic hands-on involvement such as taking blood pressure and blood sugars, but this cannot be guaranteed and is at the sole discretion of the staff and performed under staff supervision. It is important to be mindful that any tasks you may be assigned are not above your comfort or qualification level.

Please note that the government hospital will not permit applicants who are NOT studying medicine or nursing at university. Unfortunately, there are no exceptions to this rule.

Additional Features

All participants in PMGY’s medical program, regardless of whether you are placed at the private or government hospital, will have the opportunity to participate in an Ayurveda Medicine Seminar. Ayurvedic medicine (also called Ayurveda) is one of the world’s oldest medical systems. It originated in India more than 3,000 years ago. Its concepts about health and disease promote the use of herbal compounds, special diets, and other unique health practices. The earliest references to Ayurveda medicine in Sri Lanka are associated with a great physician; Ravana a king of Sri Lanka dating back to the prehistoric times.

You will have the chance to attend a lecture conducted by a local Ayurvedic specialist. They will teach you all about the history of Ayurveda, its role within healthcare in Sri Lanka and how it is implemented to treat a variety of cases.

Arrival and orientation

After arriving at the airport in Denpasar, we will transport you via tuk tuk or private car to your project.

Your stay


  • HousingVolunteer house

  • Provided mealsBreakfast, dinner

Accommodation description

The Volunteer House, your home away from home, is basic but comfortable and located just outside of central Ambalangoda, in a peaceful part of town. Rooms are furnished with bunk beds, sleep up to 10 people per room (same-sex rooms only), and have air conditioning. Volunteers are provided with cupboard space to store clothes and accessories and their own mosquito net and bed linen. Bathrooms are shared. Each bathroom has a shower and western style toilet. The water is cold but this shouldn’t be a problem, considering it is hot and humid all year round in Sri Lanka!

The Volunteer house has a voucher based Wi-Fi system and a communal area for volunteers to hang out. There is also a kitchen with a refrigerator to store any items you need to keep chilled. A member of our local team will also live at the house to ensure you have round the clock support and security. We encourage you to bring some small padlocks and/or store any valuables with Ashika in the safe located at his house.

Your housemates will be other PMGY volunteers from around the world and from other PMGY programs, adding to the richness of your experience. During your off time, Sri Lanka beckons! With your new friends, you can explore Sanur Beach on and its sunrise views, Pura Blanjong Temple, and the Bali Museum, and that’s just for starters.

During our busiest months (June to September) you may be placed at an alternative accommodation. This could be a nearby guesthouse or one of our summer Volunteer Houses.


Dorm-style rooms sleep up to 10 people (same-sex rooms only).


from $334 USDper week

from $334 USDper week


What’s included

  • Regular program inspection

  • 100% financial protection

  • Live pre-departure webinars

  • Comprehensive volunteer handbook

  • Certificate of completion

  • Regular program inspection

  • 24 hour uk-based support

  • 24 hour in-country support

  • Private transport to project

  • In-country orientation

  • Airport pick up (24 hours)

  • Meals (breakfast, lunch & dinner)

  • Accommodation (volunteer house)

What’s not included

  • Criminal background check (varies)

  • Visa ($35-150)

  • Return airport transfer ($60)

  • Travel insurance ($22.50 per week)

  • Flights to colombo ($600-$1200)

Start dates

Projects start the first and third Saturday of every month.

Founded in 2011 by volunteers for volunteers, Plan My Gap Years works with local communities in the developing world towards long-term sustainable goals. We know there is no better way to travel and make a positive impact in the world. Our structured programs create the perfect platform for you to see the world, meet like-minded people and engage in meaningful volunteer work. We have teams in the UK and in your host destinations who will support you 24/7 throughout your time with them. Furthermore, every project on our network is regularly risk-assessed by our UK team to ensure their setup is safe and that their volunteers are making a positive impact. There is also a great social element to our programs. We put you in touch with all of your fellow volunteers via Facebook before you set off. Our projects receive volunteers from around the world throughout the year, so even if you’re travelling solo, you’re going to meet heaps of people along the way.

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