Healthcare in Sri Lanka


how does the healthcare system work in Sri Lanka ? Is it efficient ?

What are the main differences between public and private sectors?

Is it recommended to purchase private health insurance in Sri Lanka?

Thanks in advance for sharing your experience !


Hello Julien,

If you can afford it use the private hospital, its not that expensive.  I was in sri lanka early May and had a look at the Lanka Hospital (it was known at the Apollo before)  For an MRI scan it worked out to be around £60 GBP compared to £300 in London.


Sri Lanka has free medical care at Government hospitals. Even the cost of care at Private Hospitals are comparatively cheaper than Europe.


In order to help expats and soon-to-be expats, we would like to invite you to share your experience on this topic, with updated info on the healthcare system.

Thank you in advance,

Julie Team

There are two type of hospitals
1.Government Hospitals
In each city there is a government hospital. No money is needed for treatments in general. But If the case  wants expensive medicine, you will have to buy it from outside pharmacies. Not all the hospitals are equipped with modern technology so you will have to go to private labs for test reports. Though the sanitary is good in op theaters and wards toilets are terrible due to over crowd. Staff is neither friendly nor kind.
2.Private Hospitals
In most of the big cities you can find private hospitals. Charges are high. Facilities are excellent. Staff is kind and friendly. You dont need to go out of hospitals to buy medicine or for reports. But you will charge accordingly. Sanitary is great.

Health insurance is not a must in Sri Lanka. There are a lot of government and private insurance companies where you can select a policy.

Pharmacies are in every cities where you can buy your medicine. You dont need to go to a hospital directly as all the Doctors are doing private practice in many private channeling centers so you can consult a specialist same day and channeling fees will be $ 11. Non -Specialist doctor charges will be $5 including medicine. normal blood check up will be $ 2. Dentiest are available in every city and charges for cleaning teeth will be $ 8.


For foreigners, even holding a resident visa, the public hospitals are NOT free of charge. You will have to pay for the medecines, only services are free.

Private hospitals are quite common in Sri Lanka and they offer much better comfort than public hospitals. If you can, go to one of the recommended ones. From my experience, Lanka Hospitals in Colombo has modern facilities and very professional healthcare services. Check  their site it will be helpful

Hi Julien,
Public healthcare in Sri Lanka is free or there will be a very small charge, however the service provided is not as good as going to the private sector. Healthcare in the private healthcare is pretty expensive so would definitely recommend getting a health insurance. There are quite a bit insurance providers in Sri Lanka, would recommend Fairfirst Insurance as they are my insurance provider as well. You can email or call them.

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