Hospitals & Health Care
Sri Lanka is a country that provides healthcare and education free of charge to its people as a national priority. Both government and private hospitals offer a variety of quality healthcare services. The country has nearly 600 government hospitals, 200 private hospitals, 17,000 qualified doctors and 30,000 qualified nurses. Average life expectancy remains at 75 years while infant mortality lies at 9.5 per 1000 births.
Access to healthcare is hassle-free and any foreign visitor could directly avail of healthcare services offered by both government sector and private sector. The government offers free healthcare services only to citizens of Sri Lanka and any healthcare service offered to foreign visitors will be charged appropriately.
In case of falling ill or an emergency, you may visit the nearest hospital or medical centre or else call for an ambulance. On-call ambulance services are offered by private sector and non-governmental organizations. Also you could directly channel a general physician or a consultant through private sector hospitals.
When it comes to pharmaceuticals, the government pharmacy known as ‘Osu Sala’ is a one-stop shop for all your medicine requirements. ‘Osu Sala pharmacies are located throughout the island. In addition, leading private sector pharmacies are located in and around Colombo and other main cities while small private pharmacies are spread across the country. Meanwhile, many a private hospital has in-house pharmacies.
If you are into indigenous medical treatments known as ‘Ayurveda’, e sector Ayurveda hospitals and pharmacies spread throughout the island. Some of these Ayurvedic hospitals offer spa and herbal healthcare facilities. Ayurvedic treatments are available for a wide variety of ailments from fractures and sprains to colds and arthritis.
When it comes to epidemics, Dengue and Malaria are common in Sri Lanka and therefore people may be vulnerable to such epidemic diseases. Both are mosquito-borne diseases. Hence it is advisable to take precautionary action to avoid mosquito bites as far as you can. If you appear to have any symptom of dengue or malaria, you should seek proper medical assistance without delay. Anyhow, you should not be afraid of either dengue or malaria as the number of cases afflicted with these diseases out of the total population of the island is minute.
Also it is worth mentioning that drowning is the most common cause of death amongst foreigners traveling in Sri Lanka while road accidents stand next. Hence, please exercise precautionary action.