Information for Patients
Bangladesh’s medical establishment infrastructure is divided into three levels: medical universities, medical college hospitals, of which district hospitals are included, and specialty hospitals. The public system is used only by 25% of the population, while the private sector is more widely used, with most citizens having to pay out-of-pocket for medical bills. Private health insurance use is negligible and social health insurance contributions are very small. While WHO reports dilapidated infrastructure in public hospitals, its mainly public perception that drives citizens towards private hospitals or even hospitals in other countries.
Information for Health Care Professionals
The shortage of all medical professionals is severe. In addition, absenteeism, corruption, lack of drugs, supplies and other facilities negatively affects the public system. Thus, it is not surprising that approximately half of all physicians are employed by the private sector. Among the 83 medical colleges, half lack the basic laboratory and other facilities to adequately teach medicine to their students. Nonetheless, there are free and low-cost opportunities to study and receive an MBBS designation, but the competition is fierce, with applicants requiring a minimum average of 95% in the 12th year of secondary school to gain admission.
Foreign medical professionals who wish to be licensed in Bangladesh must apply via a form found on the medical association’s website and send the original degree/diploma along with a copy of it, passport photos and sign a code of Medical Ethics declaration form.
Information for Travelers
It is important for travelers to purchase comprehensive travel insurance and have access to available funds should an evacuation to a better equipped hospital outside Bangladesh be required. Also, travelers should vaccinate against Hep A, Tetanus and Typhoid in addition to the regular vaccinations found in most Western countries (MMR, diptheria-tetanus-polio).
Ministry of health in Bangladesh: http://www.mohfw.gov.bd/