Guide to Health Insurance and Healthcare System in Bangladesh
If you are planning on travelling to Bangladesh, relocating to Bangladesh or are simply looking to change your international health insurance provider, it is crucial to know what options are available in terms of health insurance, and the state of the healthcare in the country in general.
Bangladesh is the eighth most populous country with an estimated population of 161 million, and a life expectancy of 64 for males and 66 for females. Bangladesh is a developing country, and the country’s population demographics and high levels of subsistence are representative of this, and so is the generally low standard of healthcare and education, and high levels of disease and malnutrition. The World Health Organisation’s 2000 World Health Report placed the Bangladeshi healthcare system at 88th in the world.
Healthcare facilities in Bangladesh
For most of the people of Bangladesh, the healthcare system is underdeveloped, under-financed and inconsistent. The majority of citizens live in rural areas, and are catered for by non-qualified village doctors, who make up well over half of all practising healthcare providers; only 6% of the total healthcare workforce is formally trained in medicine.
The Bangladesh government provisions little in financing or structuring for the healthcare system. Two thirds of health expenditure is privately financed, while the remaining third is financed partly by the government and partly through international financial assistance.
There is a large divide between the quality of healthcare services and facilities between rural and urban areas, though the general state of healthcare is still fairly poor everywhere you go. In hospitals there are qualified doctors and facilities for preventative, diagnostic and curative care, although they can be unreliable. The best hospitals in Bangladesh can be found in the capital Dhaka, including Apollo Hospital, Square Hospital and United Hospital. You must take out comprehensive health insurance including evacuation/repatriation cover, and as there is no public funding cover for expatriates, so ensure that you have accessible funds to cover immediate costs.
Before you go
You must contact your medical practitioner eight weeks before your trip to see if you require any vaccinations and preventatives. Waterborne diseases are an issue, and viral diseases include Hepatitis A and B, Typhoid, Polio. Yellow fever and Japanese Encephalitis vaccinations may be required for long stays in rural areas. Always take the necessary precautions, especially for traveller’s diarrhoea.
You can get a quote for one of our WorldCare plans to cover your stay in India, including Bangladesh, with WorldCare treatment access available anywhere in the world. You can purchase and manage your plan online – it's an easy and quick way to get comprehensive cover.