To check the MP’s claim, FactCheck.lk consulted Health at a Glance: Asia/Pacific by Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and World Health Organisation (WHO) 2022 report and the Global Health Security (GHS) Index developed by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security.
The Health at a Glance (HG) report only looks at 5 South Asian countries and leaves out 3 (Bhutan, Maldives and Afghanistan). While it does not provide an overall rank, it evaluates 19 indicators under 4 categories. In terms of ‘Health status’ and ‘Health care resources’, Sri Lanka claims the top position in all indicators. Yet, within the ‘Quality of care’ category, Sri Lanka ranks first in just 1 out of 4 indicators, and in the ‘Risk factors’ category, it secures the top spot in 2 out of 5 indicators.
GHS Index is the only evaluation that could be found for which data is available across all the South Asian countries and provides an overall rank. It assesses health security across 195 countries in 6 categories on 37 indicators.
In the latest 2021 report, the GHS Index ranks Sri Lanka 4th among South Asian countries, just 0.1 point more than Nepal which is 5th. Sri Lanka’s overall global rank was 105.
On the GHS subindexes, Sri Lanka ranks number one among South Asian peers only in ‘Risk Environment’. It has the lowest rank in South Asia in terms of the ‘Health System’; and ranks in the bottom half in ‘Prevention’, ‘Compliance with International Norms’, and ‘Rapid Response’. This means, Sri Lanka is in the bottom half on 4 of the 6 indicators The only health sector evaluation available among all South Asian countries ranks Sri Lanka in the 4th position. However, for a subset of South Asian countries there is another evaluation in which Sri Lanka has the most number 1 rankings.
Given these findings, we classify the MP’s statement as PARTLY TRUE.
*FactCheck.lk’s verdict is based on the most recent information that is publicly accessible. As with every fact check, if new information becomes available, FactCheck.lk will revisit the assessment.
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