Sri Lanka has won praise for having one of the few developing country health systems that reaches an approaches universal coverage. However, there are problems with shortages of healthcare personnel, particularly in the north and east of the country. Conflict-ridden areas also have an increasing problem with communicable diseases, poor sanitation and child and maternal mortality. Outside of the conflict areas, anaemia and cancer are major problems.
The sale and prescription of medicines in Sri Lanka is heavily regulated by the government. In 2005, plans were floated for a National Medicinal Drugs Policy, which would restrict the number of drugs imported, prescribed and sold in Sri Lanka to 350 varieties. This policy was made law in 2007.