Minister of health repeats misconception on Sri Lanka’s health service standings

30 May 2019 12:58 am - 1     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



On 04 February 2019, Mawbima quoted the following statement made by Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Rajitha Senaratne:

“Within the world healthcare system, the fact that the best health service is provided by Cuba and Sri Lanka has been accepted by the World Health Organization (WHO).”
To check this claim, we consulted the WHO’s Tracking Universal Health Coverage: 2017 Global Monitoring Report. 

This report provides an index that compares countries on the extent of their Universal Health Coverage (UHC). UHC is defined as: “All individuals and communities receive the health services they need without suffering financial hardship. UHC includes the full spectrum of essential, quality health services, from health promotion to prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and palliative care.”

The index assesses each country on a scale of 0 to 100. Countries with the highest level of service coverage are given a uniform score of ‘≥80’.

In 2015, 194 countries were assessed. 22 countries received a score of ‘≥80’. Neither Sri Lanka nor Cuba were among these; Cuba’s score was 78, while Sri Lanka’s was 62. This data indicates that Sri Lanka’s and Cuba’s health services are not at the same level, and that the WHO has not recognized either of them as being amongst the best health service within the world healthcare system.

The claim is indeed a popular misconception, but it has no basis in fact. We classify the minister’s statement as FALSE. 


FactCheck is a platform run by Verité Research. 
For comments, suggestions and feedback, please visit   


  Comments - 1

  • P. Wijenayake Friday, 05 July 2019 04:25 PM

    Australian Health Services by far the best in the world. Sri Lanka is no way close, as they have hidden costs passed on to the poor.

Add comment

Comments will be edited (grammar, spelling and slang) and authorized at the discretion of Daily Mirror online. The website also has the right not to publish selected comments.

Reply To:

Name - Reply Comment

Curfew in 8 districts till Friday

The curfew that will be imposed at 12 noon today in eight districts - Colombo

Ample stocks for 20 days: Panic buying of fuel unnecessary

Power and Energy Minister Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday urged motorists not to

COVID-19 threat Refrain from visiting Kandy - CP Governor

The Committee headed by the Governor of the Central Province Lalith U.Gamage

How Will the TNA fare at Parliamentary Election?

The deadline for the 2020 Parliamentary Elections nominations scheduled for A