In a case study on universal healthcare, the World Bank has praised the Sri Lankan health system for achieving strong health outcomes, good financial protection and low costs.

It says few other low or middle income countries have been able to achieve all three, and identified Sri Lanka’s health system as being efficient and geared towards the poor.

The publication notes that the health system provides strong service delivery through supply side efforts, 40 percent of health expenditure is covered through out-of-pocket spending and the bottom 40 percent is more likely to use public outpatient care than the top 40 percent.

Weaknesses in the government sector that are identified in the study include operating hours, longer waiting times and limited providers compared to the private sector.