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Dr Suranga Dolamulla
Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow



MBBS, MSc, MD (Medical Administration)

Dr. Suranga Dolamulla holds a prestigious Wellcome Trust Research Award in the Medical Humanities for Health Professionals and is a Senior Research Fellow employed by the Centre for Global Health Histories (CGHH), which is housed within the Department of History. He is a health policy researcher, designer and manager, and a practicing clinician and senior Sri Lankan government official (he currently serves as the Director of Tertiary Care Services within the Ministry of Health, which is the focal point for planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of hospital and clinical services throughout the country).

Suranga obtained his preliminary medical degree from the University of Sri Jayewardenepura and a Masters and MD in Medical Administration from the University of Colombo, Sri Lanka. He has travelled widely for specialist training, and this has included stints at the National Training Center in Obu, Japan; the Southern Medical College, China, and, most recently, at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. He has held posts in several reputed professional organisations, including bodies such as the College of Medical Administrators of Sri Lanka and the Sri Lanka Medical Association. Suranga has also served as a trainer and a lecturer for leading professional and academic organisations such as the Postgraduate Institute of Medicine of the University of Colombo.

Suranga is passionate about chess and has represented his country in sport, and also been a selector of the national chess teams for several years.



Dr. Suranga Dolamulla’s research project in York is an inter-disciplinary study of the bases and best means of fighting Anti-Microbial Resistance in Lower Middle Income Settings. Using the Sri Lankan situation as a detailed case study, he will combine historical analysis with heath policy and economics methodologies to come up an original assessment of financial challenges facing efforts to reduce AMR and novel taxation regimes that can promote the rational use of antibiotics. This work will be based on a critical assessment of the recent history of Primary Health Care, as it was advocated from within circles of international and national governance, and examine how the free and universal distribution and use of antibiotics ended up as a prime driver of the AMR problem. It will study the political, economic and social bases of the expansion of primary health care, the spread of 'essential antibiotics' through universal health coverage, and the interactions between Sri Lankan government agencies and WHO offices and departments. Suranga’s interest in AMR arose as he worked as a clinician across medical disciplines at public sector hospitals in Sri Lanka, where he anticipated the threat posed by AMR to the health and finances of the country. His research project in York is, therefore, driven by his passion to find cutting-edge solutions for intractable public health and medical problems, like AMR, through novel inter-disciplinary study. 

Suranga also has a wider range of research interests, which include Health Economics, Universal Health Coverage, Human Resource Management, Quality and Safety of Healthcare, Clinical Governance etc., and he is widely published in all these subjects. He has significant experience of translating his research into effective policy reforms and adaptation, having designed, managed and evaluated several such initiatives across Sri Lanka over the course of a successful government career.

External activities

Invited talks and conferences

Dr Suranga Dolamulla co-organised the WHO Global Health Histories Seminar 102, titled ‘Strengthening Universal Health Coverage for the fight against Anti-Microbial Resistance’, with Professor Sanjoy Bhattacharya on the 7th of September 2017 in Colombo. 

Contact details

Dr Suranga Dolamulla
Wellcome Trust Senior Research Fellow
Centre for Global Health Histories, Department of History
Berrick Saul Building BS/120
University of York
YO10 5DD

Tel: Internal 8125, External (01904) 328125