HEALTH SERVICE IN BANGLADESH
The health sector occupies an enormously important position in ensuring sustainable overall socio-economic advancement in developing countries. In Bangladesh, the government has begun to strategically integrate the health sector into its poverty reduction plans. Bangladesh, a small country with a large population of about 130 million contained in 147,570 square kilometres (56977 sq. miles) is almost entirely surrounded by India (North, West, East) except for a short frontier with Myanmar at south-east, and a southern coast line on the Bay of Bengal. The country has agro-based economy with GDP growing at a rate of 4.0-4.5%. The country for administrative purpose is divided into 6 Divisions, 64 Districts (Zilas), 507 Thanas/Upazila (sub-districts) and 4,484 Unions, 87319 villages1. The country has a unitary form of government run by democratically elected representatives of the people. Although there has been success in health services, still more than 60 percent of the population has no access to basic health care. According to government’s documents less than 40 percent of the population has access to basic health care. Other issues include overall poor utilization of government facilities, as well as cost effectiveness, sustainability and quality of public sector services. So the proportion of the global burden of disease carried solely by Bangladesh is enormous.
The Bangladesh Government and its development partners have also acknowledged their concerns about the quality of health care services (Ministry of Health and Family Welfare 2003):‘Absenteeism of health care providers is a major concern; consultation time is very short (2–3 minutes), with almost no privacy … A good number of posts are lying vacant at Upazila and below levels. Rural facilities need more budget to meet local needs. Most of the time, providers are busy with other activities, including private business. Unavailability of drugs is the single most...
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