Healthcare and Health Insurance in Bangladesh
The standard of living in Bangladesh is extremely low, Bangladesh may not be able to provide foreign nationals in the country with the medical services that they need. With regards to healthcare, the treatment standards are typically very poor, and many medical facilities will not be able to offer patients anything other than immediate emergency care. As such, we advise finding a health insurance policy that covers treatment not only in Bangladesh, but also internationally to ensure access to world class medical care.
Bangladesh Travel Tips
Permanently relocating to, or traveling in, a new country can be confusing and difficult, especially if you are unaware of many of the local laws and customs. Although Bangladesh has a reputation as a hospitable and pleasant country to travel through there may be certain situations in which you require more information or help. It is for this reason that we have provided some travel advice for newcomers in Bangladesh.
Please be advised that all the information contained on this page is meant for reference purposes and may change without prior warning. For more up-to-date information about traveling in Bangladesh it is advised that you consult a quality resource or your government prior to departure.
There is a general threat of terrorism throughout Bangladesh. Attacks, if they happen, are likely to target areas of the country frequented by tourists and foreigners. As such you should take all due care while in Bangladesh and follow any official government announcements as they are given.
There is a high prevalence of crime throughout Bangladesh. Armed robbery, theft, and assault are common crimes against foreign nationals. It is advised that you avoid poorly lit areas and always travel in groups of 3 or more people, especially if you are traveling with females.
Passengers using the Bangladesh International Airport have complained about harassment and have experienced incidents of bag snatching and pick pocketing. Do not let anyone carry your bags and always arrange transport to and from the airport in advance. Keep and eye on your passport, as there have been a large number of thefts reported.
Incidents of kidnapping (involving children and businessmen) are on the rise. While these may not specifically target foreigners you should be alert at all times. You are also advised that it is the policy of many foreign governments’s not to deal with hostage takers and plan your journey accordingly.
There is always a chance for social unrest in Bangladesh, the most recent incident involved student protesters and government officials. Many hundreds of people were injured and at least one individual was killed during the incident. You are advised to stay away from all social gatherings, including demonstrations, and political gatherings. In the event of a riot, stay indoors and follow all government directions.
There is a caution against all but essential travel to the Chittagong Hill Tracts. Security in this region is an ongoing concern. You are advised to stay away.
There have been frequent skirmishes between Bangladeshi and Indian armed forces along the Indian border; as such you are advised to avoid all border areas.
The roads in Bangladesh are of an extremely poor standard. Deaths due to traffic accidents are common. If you plan to drive while in Bangladesh you should posses a valid international driving permit and exercise all due caution while on the road.
As Bangladesh is a predominately Muslim country many of the local laws and customs will reflect this. Women should dress modestly at all times and ensure that they cover their shoulders and wear long skirts or trousers.
If you or your parents are of Bangladeshi origin or ethnicity, you may be considered by the Bangladeshi government to be a citizen, even if you have never lived in the country or held a Bangladeshi passport.
Possession or distribution of narcotics is illegal under Bangladeshi law. Avoid drugs while you are in the country. Penalties for possession or distribution are severe.
Bangladesh Medical Insurance and Healthcare Overview
Under the Bangladeshi constitution all citizens are entitled to receive basic healthcare services. Since 1949 the Bangladeshi government has been pursing a policy that aims to make this goal a reality, however the results are often less impressive than the idea. The basic healthcare infrastructure throughout Bangladesh remains poor. Medical facilities are mainly limited to the major cities with almost no provision of healthcare services found in the countryside.
Health issues and healthcare in Bangladesh
In addition to the lack of basic medical facilities throughout the country, there is a major concern in Bangladesh regarding communicable diseases. Due to the country's location and the prevalence of severe floods during the monsoon season, there are yearly outbreaks of a number of major diseases, including typhoid, dengue fever, malaria, and others. This is a serious problem and accounts for many deaths annually. The problem of flooding has also been linked to the high infant mortality rates throughout the country and despite the high level of fertility throughout Bangladesh, approximately 125 infants will die per every 1000 births.
There is positive forward movement however, as the Bangladeshi government realizes that there are a myriad of serious issues facing its healthcare policy. One of the biggest reforms being mounted is with regards to the standard of drinking water in the country. In an effort to cut down on the levels of disease transmitted by poor drinking water the Bangladeshi government has instituted a program to see all water systems monitored for contaminants. This program is not yet in effect, but does show that the government is aware of some of the major healthcare issues and is taking measures to tackle the problem.
Despite any progress made, however, the provision of healthcare in the country is still in a state that is much lower than expected. Most hospitals and clinics will not be able to provide any care outside of emergency treatment. In addition to this many Bangladeshi medical facilities will require a cash payment prior to treatment, and in some cases this has been requested even where an individual has health insurance. In serious situations patients are typically evacuated from the country to a nearby center of medical excellence, typically to India or Thailand. These medical evacuations can be expensive, and without adequate health insurance in Bangladesh they can place a burden on an individual's financial situation.
Due to the inadequate nature of the country's healthcare services it is advised that any foreign nationals in the country ensure that they take measures to prevent sickness and disease. Avoid swimming in public waterways and the ocean, as these may be contaminated by human waste. Always ensure that you are drinking water from a clean source. This comes in addition to carrying some form of anti-diarrhea medication at all times. In the event that you suffer from diarrhea for more than 72 hours, you should consult a medical authority.
We can provide comprehensive international health insurance plans to foreign nationals living in Bangladesh, and Bangladeshi nationals living abroad. Plans that we can offer will typically be attached to a number of coverage benefits which can include maternity insurance and dental protection, out-patient treatment, specialist consultations, alternative therapies, complimentary medicine and emergency evacuation coverage. Bangladesh expat health insurance policies are typically globally portable and guaranteed renewable for life, giving you the assurance that no matter what happens, anywhere in the world, you will have the coverage that you deserve.
While traveling to a new country can often be an exciting experience, it can be difficult if you are not prepared for the journey. With this in mind we have provided some general outlines on the country of Bangladesh with a view to helping you on your trip.
Please be advised that the information contained on this page is meant for reference purposes only, and may change without prior warning. For the most up to date information on Bangladesh it is advised that you consult an expert.
Official Name: The Peoples Republic of Bangladesh or Gana Prajatantri Banladesh, simply known as Bangladesh. This country was previously called East Bengal and East Pakistan which stemmed from the Indian division in 1949.
Capital: The capital of Bangladesh is Dhaka, located in the middle of the country on the banks of the Buriganga River. Dhaka is the 11th most populated city in the world.
Location : Located in South Asia on the Indian Sub-continent, Bangladesh shares a land border with India and Burma. The country is also situated on the Bay of Bengal.
Size: Bangladesh occupies a total area of 144,000 square kilometers making it the 102 nd largest country in the world. In comparative terms, Bangladesh is slightly smaller than the US state of Iowa.
Climate: Bangladesh experiences a tropical climate with an annual monsoon season that can be extremely severe. Due to the many rivers running through the country there are a large number of floods during the summer months (June through October). The country is characterized by hot and humid weather year round.
Population: With a total estimated population of 150,448,000, Bangladesh is the 9 th most populated country in the world, ranking ahead of Russia and behind Pakistan.
Life expectancy at birth: The life expectancy at birth for Bangladeshis is approximately 62.84 years.
Prevalence of HIV/AIDS: There is a relatively low prevalence of HIV/Aids in Bangladesh with approximately 0.1% of the population living with the disease. In real terms this is equivalent to 130,000 people in the country living with the disease.
Major illnesses: There are a number of disease risks in Bangladesh. These can include; bacterial diarrhea, typhoid fever, dengue fever, malaria, rabies, leptospirosis, hepatitis, and polio. Cases of H5N1, or Bird flu, have also been identified in the country.
Ethnic Groups: Bangladesh is a fairly homogenous country in terms of the ethnic makeup of the local populace. 98% of the Bangladeshi population identify themselves as being of Bengali ethnicity. The remaining 2% are a mix of many nationalities and tribal groups, including non-Bengali Muslims.
Languages: The official language of Bangladesh is Bangla, or Bengali. English is widely spoken throughout the country, however is not an official language.
Religion: The major religion in Bangladesh is Islam, with 83% of the population identifying as Muslim. 16% of the population is Hindu, and the remaining 1% observes a number of different religions including Christianity.
Government: Bangladesh is a parliamentary democracy, as such the Bangladeshi head of state is not directly elected, but rather is the head of the political party that secures the most votes in the general election.
Head of State: President Zillur Rahman is the head of the Bangladeshi state.
Economy : The Bangladeshi economy is in a state of growth (approximately 5 – 6% annually), however this growth is stifled by over regulation and government control of most of the nation's industry. Large deposits of natural gas and the country's many abundant natural resources are, however, encouraging more and more foreign investors to enter the Bangladeshi market in the hope of making large returns once the economy strengthens. Most of the Bangladeshi economy is tied into the service sector, despite the fact that more than half of the nations residents are involved in agricultural labor, highlighting the vast disparity of income that exists in the nation. Money from Bangladeshi's working overseas, in conjunction with a strong garment industry are continuing to provide support to the economy, and many analysts are hopeful that Bangladesh will turn into the next Asian ‘tiger' nation.
GDP: Bangladesh has a purchasing power parity of approximately US$ 209.2 billion and an actual GDP of US$ 75.17 billion, meaning that this nation has the 51 st strongest economy in the world.
For more information about health insurance in Bangladesh, please contact one of our expert advisers today.