Healthcare and visiting a hospital in Sri Lanka

When travelling to a foreign country, we usually don’t think about healthcare or hospitals there (ok, when travelling with kids you probably do). We have been traveling together for the past 14 years and we have NEVER had to see a doctor. We just had minor problems, where a visit to the pharmacist or a message to our home doctor was enough.

But this time it was different. In Sri Lanka we had to go to the hospital for the first time during a trip.

Jure went surfing in Arugam bay and the board hit him in the face. He was lucky it didn’t break his nose, injured his eye or he could have fallen unconscious in the water. But still he had a quite big open and deep wound above his eye. This is how the hospitals looked like and how the treatment went:

1.Arugam bay

The small medical practice had a waiting room with a few chairs, a small pharmacy and the ordination, where the doctor had his desk, on a second table was all the medical stuff and a  “bed”. All the things they used were sterile (needles etc.), the doctor was friendly and gentle. What caught my eye: they wore normal clothes (even during procedure) and the nurse was barefoot.

Jure got stitches and antibiotics (but for only 3 days). After 3 days he had a check up and the doctor said everything is ok and he can go surfing in the afternoon. I didn’t let him.




In Kandy we went to Suwasevana hospital. They sent us to a room where we waited for the doctor. He seemed very busy (it was a public holiday so they might have had a lot of work). He removed the stitches but was very concerned because of the wound – it was infected, not healed at all. Because of the holiday there were no surgeons, so he sent us home to fix the wound. Wait … what? He was panicking because it was so near to the eye and the brain and they don’t have surgeons for that. Then he sent us with new antibiotics to Colombo. Now it was time for our doctor at home via internet – she prescribed us another antibiotic (FYI in Sri Lanka you can buy ANY antibiotics in the pharmacy, just use them responsibly).

sri lanka hospitals




The third hospital in 6 days was Nawaloka private hospital in Negombo. When we googled for the best hospital in Colombo/Negombo, this came up and our friend in Negombo as well suggested this one. Off we were.

Now we were talking – it is a hospital we are used to in Europe. We didn’t have to wait for long when the doctor had time to see Jure. The antibiotics already kicked in and she didn’t want to stitch it up again because the wound was getting better.



Till our departure home we were in constant contact with our home doctor.

Luckily none of the procedures was expensive, all together we payed around 100€ for all the treatments and medications. Our travel insurance refunded everything within a few days. But imagine it would be worse and we wouldn’t have insurance. That’s why always, when you are abroad make sure to have some medical coverage, because you never know …

After all it healed well and instead of a cool travel tatoo Jure now has a scar to remember Sri Lanka.

We really want to thank our doctor friend Tamara, who helped us a lot on this trip. Without her it probably wouldn’t heal that well and fast. Thank you, thank you thank you (and we hope we won’t need your professional services soon again).

If you are curious, how it happened and how it looks like in Arugam bay, welcome to watch our vlog from there 😉


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