For people in Sri Lanka the local healthcare system is highly suspect in terms of western standards. It is only in the capital, Colombo, where there is an adequate level of high class hospitals and physicians. Outside of Colombo, in other parts of the country, it can be extremely difficult to obtain quality coverage, especially in the event of a severe illness or injury. In many of these cases non Sri Lankan nationals will have to be medically evacuated back to Colombo or even repatriated to their home country.
Often referred to as the "Tear of India", Sri Lanka is a country rich in history and culture. Originally colonized by the native Sinhalese in the late 6th century BC, the country has played an important role in the development of South Asia. In the middle of the 3rd century BC Buddhism was introduced to the country and from there an extremely powerful and rich civilization emerged. In the 14th century AD an ethnic Tamil kingdom in southern India established a colony in the Northern part of the country leading to many of the problems that the country now experiences in the modern world.
Sri Lanka has a long history of colonization and rule by foreign powers. Both the Portuguese and Dutch established colonies there during the 16th and 17th centuries. The island was eventually ceded to the British in 1796, and became a Crown Colony in 1802. During the 19th century the country was united, albeit briefly, under British rule until it claimed independence in 1948. Up until this declaration of independence the island was known throughout the world as "Ceylon" (also the name of the type of tea that came from the nation), however once formally independent a nationwide referendum was held to see if there should be a name change and Sri Lanka as we know it today was born.
Despite the country's reputation as a tourist paradise with many lush forests and serene beaches, Sri Lanka's image has been marred as, since 1983, there was a conflict between the ethnic Sinhalese majority and Tamil separatist faction. The Tamil government wanted to establish a wholly independent Tamil homeland in the north of the island citing what it claimed to be a historical precedent (Sri Lanka, or the Island currently known as Sri Lanka, features prominently in many ancient Tamil and Hindu myths and legend), and had actively gone about moving away from the control of the Sinhalese population.
Yet despite this major impediment to its growth, Sri Lanka continues to thrive as a developing Asian economy. Despite not being on the same level as India, Thailand, China, Singapore, or Malaysia; Sri Lanka, like most other Asian nations has seen levels of foreign investment increase dramatically since 2000 and has made a concerted effort to improve its image to attract the wealth that it knows it can obtain.
With a huge export market in India, and a major international demand for its tea products (Sri Lanka is a cornerstone of the International tea industry with many "mixed" or "pre-packaged" blends extensively utilizing the unique taste of Ceylon tea), Sri Lanka, while still not as economically prosperous as it would like, is still extremely successful. This has lead to many foreign national choosing to visit the country for extended periods of time or permanently relocate there. It is of note that due to the tensions between the Sinhalese majority and Tamil separatists there was a high likelyhood of violence and because of that situation the Sri Lankan medical system was severely strained. Many medical and healthcare professionals chose to relocate overseas rather than stay in an extremely hostile environment.
What this means for expatriates who are visiting or moving to the country is this; the Sri Lankan medical system, while adequately equipped and staffed may not be up to the standards that you are used to. In the event of a new outbreak of violence hospitals and clinics may become severely strained. It is important to have a quality health insurance plan in these situations so that in the event that anything should happen to you or your loved ones you are assured of receiving the high standard of care that you deserve.
We can provide quality Sri Lanka health insurance plans to expatriates and travelers in the country that will assure you of the treatment that you require in any situation. Plans that we can provide in Sri Lanka are guaranteed renewable for life and globally portable, this means that even if you should relocate to another country or develop a chronic condition your plan will travel with you and continue to provide you with the coverage that you deserve.
For more information about the locally compliant health insurance plans and services that we can provide in Sri Lanka or anywhere else in the world, please contact one of our expert advisors today.