Can health tourism save Sri Lanka?

Sri Lanka is in the midst of a deep economic crisis, and is struggling to pay for crucial imports like food, fuel and medicine. Revenue from medical tourism and health tourism could help national economic recovery and growth but this needs a Presidential Task Force to accelerate necessary change, says the Ministry of Tourism. 

The Sri Lanka Export Development Board (EDB) has identified the health/wellness tourism sector as a focus sector for foreign exchange earnings and as a key sector in the National Export Strategy.

But to compete in a competitive global wellness market, the Ministry of Tourism has said that Sri Lanka will need to invest in the development of local infrastructure including travel connections, efficient airport procedures, greeting programmes, internal transfers, and tourism service improvements.  It argues there is a need for real implementation of improvement plans and that is where a Presidential Task Force could play a vital role. Ministers admit that the political leadership and business community of the country need to show the world that they trust the health system and medical services in Sri Lanka.

Local competitors also investing in their wellness sectors include Bali, Pattaya, Koh Samui and Kerala.