Bangladesh Healthcare Industry: The Industry that is growing faster then the GDP


Currently the 57th largest economy in the world, Bangladesh has been making significant socio-economic developments in recent years. GDP has been growing at an average rate of 6-7% over the past decade. However, despite improving healthcare indicators such as decline in mortality rates and increase in average life expectancy, the health sector of the country is yet to reach its full potential. Total healthcare expenditure stands at only 3.7% of total GDP of the economy.

There are approximate 3500 private hospitals and clinics registered in Bangladesh. The total number of beds provided by the private sector is approximate 60000. Along with private clinics and hospitals, the number of diagnostic centers in the private sector is growing. In 2012, approximately 5,122 laboratories and other diagnostic centers were registered with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW, 2012). In the private for-profit sector, there are some large diagnostic centers in the cities (Lab Aid, Ibn Sina, Popular and Medinova) providing laboratory and specialized radiological tests.

In the nonprofit private sector, there are centers like the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Diseases and Research, Bangladesh (ICDDR,B), which has a modern laboratory providing research facilities and extends laboratory services to the general community. The healthcare sector in Bangladesh has experienced increased growth in recent years. In 2013, the direct contribution of the sector to GDP was $1.78 billion, increasing to 3.45 billion in 2017.

Bangladesh offers opportunities for U.S. exporters of high-end medical equipment, surgical instruments, diagnostic equipment, and services. Imported medicines and medical devices are subject to customs duties depending on types and classes.