Sri Lanka provides free universal healthcare. Yes, one of the few countries in the world with free healthcare and education, both of which have been national priorities for decades.
Both the Government and Private sector have been rapidly building and improving infrastructure, quality of services and human capital base in the healthcare sector. For instance, as a part of the National Health Master Plan (2006-2016) the base hospital in Nuwara-Eliya which already had all the major specialties is under reconstruction to include more modern facilities including extra wards and surgical theatres with an upgraded ICU, blood bank and much more.
Not surprisingly the overall numbers are looking quite good. Here are some statistics from the Central Bank (for 2012) which depict the progress in the Health sector:
- Government Hospitals: 593
- Private Hospitals:197
- Qualified Doctors: 17,129 (a doctor per 1,187 persons)
- Qualified Nurses: 29,871 (a nurse per 683 persons)
- Average Life Expectancy: 75 years
- Infant Mortality: 9.5 per 1000 births (a regional low)