Foreigners do not enroll in the public healthcare system. To reside in country one is required to hold health insurance. It is your choice what you pick but consider your state of health and coverage as you pay up front for health care here. There are public hospitals but foreigners would probably consider them grim and as a last recourse. During the Dengue Crisis there were four to a bed.
Expat Healthcare Advice for Negombo
There is one fairly modern hospital in the city. They do have a small ER and actually do some surgery but anything serious is sent 27 miles away to Colombo
. If you have chronic medical conditions be aware that Sri Lanka has high humidity and can have extreme heat. You can manage most chronic conditions but be aware that to see a doctor you have to wait in long lines at times. People will cut in front of you at times and a five minute office visit would be considered lengthy. The best private hospital in Negombo
offers annual comprehensive health check ups for male/female for around $150 each and it takes all day. They are done by doctors not techs. It is a worthwhile investment.
Emergency Medical Care in Negombo
The closest ER is 15 minutes from our house. There is a number to call a local ambulance but don't know the response time. Probably would just load up in a tuk-tuk if possible and run for the ER. The best private hospital in Negombo is Nawaloka Hospital. The Government Hospital is very close to it as well. The quality of care is good once you are admitted. The hospital equipment is up to date and clean. The hospital it self is kept clean. They are very kind but you feel kind of lost. Too much staff doing little to nothing. You can call an ambulance by phone. However, the street names here are very confusing even to locals so be prepared to know landmarks for them to find you and if you have neighbors or a local that can tell them your location ... so much the better.
Expat Health Insurance in Sri Lanka
Expats interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get quotes our partner, International Citizens Insurance, a trusted expat health insurance broker. They will provide you with comparison quotes from some of the biggest expat health insurers: Cigna, Aetna and GeoBlue.
Quality of Healthcare in Surrounding Area
People actually come to Sri Lanka
for Medical Tourism but some Expats have expressed doubts about the quality of medical care here. If an expat was worried one could go to nearby India for anything or any condition to be treated. I had a stent put in last year in Nawaloka Hospital, Colombo Branch and total bill came to $3,000. I think Cancer care here is limited but not really informed on that. My international insurance refuses to cover pre-existing conditions (Cigna) so you are on your own with that. I would never return to the USA for medical care as that would not be covered by my insurance plan and the cost would be beyond anything I could ever pay.
Yes, most common prescription meds are available. There are many local pharmacy stores and you can get most meds at very low prices. Shop around and stick with the ones that give you the best prices as well as the lowest generic offerings. You can call ahead at many and your order will be waiting. A doctor office visit cost is around $3 to get a prescription. My wife's insulin pen cost $15.50 and my Symbicort inhaler cost is $14.
Expat Health Insurance in Sri Lanka
We have had no experiences with regard to the use of our health insurance as either the cost was too low to even bother with it or it was pre-existing and was not going to be covered so was out of pocket. Yes, we have Cigna Global Health Insurance as to be a foreign resident in Sri Lanka it is required to have health insurance coverage.
It has been vague if the insurance will cover Nawaloka, Negombo Branch but their map showing most hospitals for us to go to are in Colombo (27 miles distance). I can't get an answer from Nawaloka Hospital, Negombo Branch either if they would accept Cigna here locally. I did pick Cigna Global as most of the other insurance outfits seemed kind of dicey and it was the best of the lot.