Batticaloa Medical Society that was functioning for many decades as the forum for medical fraternity of Batticaloa district was renamed as Batticaloa Medical Association in 1972. With this milestone development the informal evening meetings turned into regular academic forums. Initially these forums are limited to case discussions by consultants and house officers and a day of joint programmes with other regional medical associations.
People of Batticaloa district faced a heavy cyclone in the year 1978. This gives the opportunity for the members of the BMA to involve in their first community based health programme. Members of BMA helped to alleviate the suffering of affected community. Continuous ethnic strife was a great challenge to expand the new association but with the eminent leader ship provided by Dr.C.S.Thiyagarajah, Dr.Jega Pasupathy, Dr.Seimen, Dr.C. Amarasingam and Dr.V.Vivekanandarajah, members of BMA were able to carry out its regular activities. Present emblem for BMA is created in 1982 during the tenure of 10th BMA committee.
First reactivation of BMA occurred in 1998 and the traditional oil lamp, chairs and public address system that were purchased during the time gives way to more organized continuing medical education programmes. Around this time mobile medical services were started in partnership with community organizations like Rotary club, Lions club, Ramakrishna mission etc. This immensely helped people who were not able to access health service because of prevailed situation at that time and due to poverty. These mobile services continued for many years until the general situation returned to normal. In the following years a support programme for cancer patients were initiated with funding support from Cancer Aid for North East (CANE). Poor cancer patients were identified and supported with nutritional support and expenses associated with to travel to Cancer Institute, Maharagama and performance of biopsies. This project that was carried out by BMA for nearly two years were later handed over to Batticaloa Cancer Society. A similar programme was launched to support for cardiac patients but it was not sustainable.
The constitution of BMA was reviewed and organized under the leader ship of then president Dr.K.E.Karunakaran, present Dean, Faculty of Health care Studies, Eastern University of Sri Lanka. Formal registration of BMA was done. BMA was also formally registered as an organization. In the coming years series of medical education programmes were conducted to the medical fraternity and this includes “Safe Motherhood Programme” with collaboration from College of Gyneacologists and Obstetricians and “Pain Management Programme” with Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)
The functioning of BMA and general functioning of people of Batticaloa was heavily affected in 2004 by Tsunami that caused enormous devastation leading to many losses of life and properties. Recovering from initial shock members of BMA started with other local well wishers and organizations a massive health programme to outreach the affected community. After the initial wave of trauma lot of support in the form of aids received by the Batticaloa community. BMA also instrumental in this fund raising process. A portion of the donation received was handed over to the Bishop of Batticaloa for the welfare of the affected community and a primary health care centre was opened in Kallady adjoining the Ramakrishna mission with the joint effort of BMA, BUDS and MIOT. The members of BMA have been providing free medical services at this centre from its inception.
The peaceful ground situation in year 2005 lead to introduction of many new activities in the annals of BMA history. Regular two day annual scientific sessions initiated under the leadership of Dr. T. Rudra also paved way to the first official publication- “Journal of Batticaloa Medical Association” in July 2005. Five issues were published from this time up to now. In addition to the Annual Scientific Sessions, Foundation sessions, Year end party, Sarawathy pooja and Christmas programme also became part of regular calendar activities. Annual cricket encounter between medical fraternity and sponsors was started and it ensured better relationship and continuous support for the annual session. A website for BMA was launched but unfortunately it was not able to function after 2007 due to logistical and financial reasons.
Year 2007 again saw another human suffering and people from parts of Batticaloa district and neighbouring Trincomalee district internally displaced this time due to the civil war and they were housed in many temporary shelters in and around Batticaloa. Members of BMA once again involved in the humane health mission that include mobile team visits.
Members of BMA successfully negotiated with the then hospital administrators to get part of the new building that was built under the funding assistance of NECDEP and in year 2008 BMA moved into this new building. The library was upgraded with donations from many well wishers and from the annual grant from the ministry of health. The library facilities have been used by a range of staff that includes consultants, medical officers, nursing officers, paramedical staff and medical students. Computers were installed with internet facilities and photocopying facilities were extended to its members.
The gradual expansion of activities were threatened in the year 2009/2010 and further destruction was prevented by members of the BMA who formed an interim committee co-chaired by Dr.T.Gowryshangar and Dr.Philip Rajanathan – two experienced members who were the office bearers of previous BMA committees. Although regular CPD programmes became nonexistent, a concerted and committed effort by the members and office bearers ensured the continuation of Annual Scientific Sessions – Key calendar event of BMA.