On 04 February 2019, Mawbima quoted the above statement made by Minister of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine Rajitha Senaratne.
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). 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’ (see sources for definitions and more details).
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 a popular misconception for which we cannot find a basis in facts. We classify the minister’s statement as FALSE.
*FactCheck’s verdict is based on the most recent information that is publicly accessible. As with every fact check, if new information becomes available, FactCheck will revisit the assessment.
- For the definition of UHC, please see: WHO Fact Sheet on Universal Health Coverage, available at: https://www.who.int/en/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/universal-health-coverage-(uhc)
- For more details on the UHC service coverage index, please see: Tracking Universal Health Coverage: 2017 Global Monitoring Report, pages 3, 13, available at: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/259817/9789241513555-eng.pdf?sequence=1