Monitoring and Evaluating Progress towards Universal Health Coverage in Bangladesh

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Author(s): Huda T, Khan JAM, Ahsan KZ, Jamil K, Arifeen SE

Year: 2014

PLoS Med 11(9): e1001722. doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001722

In the 42 years since independence, Bangladesh has made some substantial progress in the health sector, which is all the more remarkable when compared with other countries in the region. However, this achievement is not uniform across all health indicators. The coverage of many critical health services is still quite low. The country's health system is struggling to meet basic standards for quality of care because of a shortage of skilled health workers, the large number of unregulated private service providers, irregular supplies of drugs, inadequate public financing, high out-of-pocket expenses, and lack of proper monitoring and supervision mechanisms. Further complicating the situation is the increasing burden of non-communicable diseases, and the absence of any pre-payment risk pooling mechanisms. Bangladesh faces a daunting challenge in achieving the goal of universal health coverage.

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