Dr Sembakutti Lakmal De Silva graduated from the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka. To be eligible to work in Singapore, doctors need to have graduated from a select list of medical colleges in Sri Lanka. The University of Colombo is the only institution in Sri Lanka on the list and is rated as the top university in Sri Lanka.
After he graduated, Dr Lakmal gained two years of experience in the public health sector before he joined the department of neuro-anaesthesia at the largest tertiary care hospital in Sri Lanka. He worked there for four years, and gained a huge amount of experience in anaesthesia and intensive care.
To further develop his career, Dr Lakmal decided to relocate to Singapore. Read our interview with Dr Lakmal, who works as a Resident Physician at Sengkang Health, to find out more about his experience of working in Singapore.
Why were you interested in moving to Singapore?
The healthcare system in Singapore is recognised as one of the best in the world with cutting-edge technology and the latest evidence-based practices. I was interested in moving to Singapore to gain exposure to the healthcare system, learn new things and explore the advances in the field of medicine.
What do you think are the key benefits of working and living in Singapore?
Singapore is one of the safest countries to live in. I had a very high standard of living and great quality of life. The education system is excellent if you have children and the pay is good.
What have you discovered since your relocation?
Everything is well planned and the people are compliant with the rules and regulations so the life is very easy. The medical facility is run smoothly; all employees are treated equally and with dignity. People are also well mannered and genuine.
How do you find working in Singapore’s health system compared to Sri Lanka?
The workflow and responsibilities are predefined and well organised. The holistic system addresses the needs of the patients. Any concerns the patients and relatives have are given a high priority and their autonomy is respected. Special attention is given for career development and learning opportunities for junior doctors, including dedicated support from the consultants.
What are your career aspirations and where would you eventually like to settle?
I am planning to enroll onto a residency programme and settle down with my family in Singapore. I enjoy living in the country and would love to continue working here.
What would you tell another doctor from Sri Lanka who is thinking of relocating to Singapore?
I think that any doctor who is planning to come to Singapore should be aware that they need a lot of energy. Doctors need to be hardworking, knowledgeable and skilled, with excellent communication skills. Being up to date with the latest advances in management protocols would be really helpful in adjusting to the system in Singapore.
How would you rate the support you received from Medacs Healthcare with your relocation?
Excellent! They not only helped me to find my role but also arranged documents for the registration processes, found my accommodation, and helped to settle me and my family here, including admitting my children into the local schools. The staff at Medacs Healthcare looked into and took care of every aspect of my relocation.