The State of Telemedicine in Bangladesh
In the past decade, Bangladesh has seen salient improvements in health care. We’ve significantly reduced child mortality rate and maternal death, and increased immunization coverage and life expectancy of citizens.
That said, there is a huge disparity in health care distribution between urban and rural areas, a large portion of people living in rural areas are deprived of modern health care facilities. The total population in Bangladesh is over 160 million (World Bank, 2018). Among them, 77% people live in rural areas. Access to medical personnel (general practitioners), medical facilities, and equipment is unevenly distributed throughout the country.
Two problems stand out:
- Most doctors in Bangladesh are located in urban areas due to poor infrastructure in rural health care centers and villages.
- Rural dwellers are required to travel long distances to access health care services which makes it costly and time-consuming. Cost is two-fold. There is a cost of travel and a cost of treatment.