The health care system in Bangladesh: an insight into health policy, law and governance

Sheikh Mohammad Towhidul Karim, Shawkat Alam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Bangladesh has suffered from numerous healthcare crises. As a country that is rapidly developing and becoming more urbanised, new healthcare challenges await in the form of non-communicable and chronic diseases that are commonly associated with industrialised economies. Yet, despite these new challenges, many of the institutions, laws and policies which govern the provision of healthcare in Bangladesh remain weak. To date, patients have no real recourse to submit complaints concerning medical malpractice and the enforcement culture fails to promote accountability amongst practicing medical professionals. This article reviews and evaluates the healthcare framework with particular regard to patient safety legislation and the supporting tools and institutions that promote patient safety in Bangladesh. Through the lens of governance theory, this article assesses Bangladesh’s healthcare governance framework in accordance with two key indicators developed by the World Bank: government effectiveness and regulatory burden. This article finds that many existing practices remain uncompetitive, creating unnecessary cost barriers to patients. It also finds that existing practices are non-transparent, and that government effectiveness is undermined by corrupt practices and an ineffective oversight mechanism. This article advocates for the effective promotion and enforcement of a Citizen Charter of Rights, as well as further regulatory and institutional reform to promote patient rights and improve health outcomes.
Original languageEnglish
Article number6
Pages (from-to)1-19
Number of pages19
JournalAustralian Journal of Asian Law
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2020


  • health and well-being
  • Healthcare system
  • Health governance
  • policy and legislation
  • institutions


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