Universal Health Coverage In Bangladesh
The definition of Universal Health Coverage is that all the people gets access to the health services they need, whenever and wherever they need them basically in anytime and anywhere, also without any kind of financial complications. All the essential health services from health promotion to prevention, reestablishment, palliative care is included in this. At the moment at least half of the people (around 3.8 Billion) don’t receive the health services they need and around 100 million people are going below the extreme poverty line each year just because they have to spend all of their money for health and this must change. In Bangladesh approximately 6 million people are pushed into Poverty because of payments of health services every year. Bangladesh badly needs the Universal Health Coverage because it has a direct impact on health of the people.
Bangladesh is a country that has seen remarkable progress improving health since it became independent in 1971. It has become a good example of health at low cost but then again 3.5% to 3.8% of poor people are pushed into poverty because 64% of expenditures are made out of their pocket which is a very alarming rate. The damages cost by health issues are catastrophic for the lower-class families. So, there is still space for improvement towards the goal of achieving UHC.
There are tons of challenges for achieving Universal Health Coverage in Bangladesh. Firstly, Bangladesh has to prepare its resources for health. It doesn’t mean that Bangladesh has to reserve more wealth. It means mobilizing the resources for health in right ways and method with the right strategy. Secondly, Bangladesh has to reduce the out of pocket expenditure. Lastly, it has to reduce ineffective and unfair usage of resources. World Health Organization report proposes these three strategies as well and these are based on interlinked health financing.
Bangladesh’s governmental health infrastructure is one of the best in South Asia. Even though it’s full of Medical colleges and hospitals as well as tertiary care hospitals, also many other health institutions people of the rural areas suffer for the catastrophic health complications a lot. Trained health caregivers of the rural area are don’t have sufficient education and also, they are less in number. On the other hand, there are low standard private clinics on most of the rural area which provides low services but costs a lot for the poor people. These private clinics leeches the poor people of these area and these people are not satisfied with the government provided services so they have to go to these private clinics again and again. Universal Health Coverage can end these sufferings and reduce poverty as well but the implementing it is a difficult task.
Research says that 80% of coverage of Universal Health Coverage can be achieved if necessary steps are taken by the year 2030. But then again some places will still be behind even places which are covered by this 80% because of social economic inequality. To reach this target in Bangladesh the simple preventative measures can be fulfilled easily but to fulfill the complex ones such as providing professional health care delivery by skilled professionals at the rural areas.