Sri Lanka to remove VAT on several hospital and doc’s charges : Fin Min

Jun 20, 2018 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s cabinet has decided to remove the value added tax from a range of medical charges in private hospitals in a bid to reduce the health care cost of the people, the Finance Minister said.

“VAT on the out patient department (OPD) charges, doctors consultation fees, channeling fees and surgeries will be taken off from July 01,”  Mangala Samaraweera, Finance Minister told reporters in Colombo Tuesday.

“The VAT will be applicable only for the room charge.”

The amendments to the new tax law will be put to parliament soon.

Earlier the Finance ministry also announced that Sri Lanka will remove value added tax from hospital bills from next week.

VAT on healthcare services was exempt in Sri Lanka until 1st May 2016, as the principal purpose of the healthcare service was “protection, maintenance or restoration of the health of those who are sick”.

“We realised that the 15 percent VAT imposed on the local medical fees was putting an undue pressure on the general public,” the Minister added.

“The majority of patients belonging to lower middle class have no option other than seeking health care facilities in private hospitals and medical centres because the government hospitals are over crowded.”