Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has said the government has a plan to bring all citizens under national health insurance coverage to ensure healthcare services.
As part of the plan, the government is implementing a pilot project in Madhupur, Ghatail and Kalihati upazilas of Tangail by bringing poor people under health insurance coverage, the PM told parliament yesterday.
The government has already formulated the Healthcare Financing Strategy 2012-2032 to ensure universal healthcare services, she said in a scripted answer to a query from Jatiya Party lawmaker Rustum Ali Faraji during the PM’s question-answer session.
In line with the Healthcare Financing Strategy, the government has undertaken the pilot project titled “Shasthya Suraksha Kormosuchi” (Health Protection Programme) to initially provide free healthcare services to the poor in the three upazilas of Tangail.
Under the project, free healthcare is being provided to poor people for 78 diseases.
“Work on spreading the pilot project to all nine upazilas of Tangail is going on. If the piloting is successful, the activities will be expanded throughout the country,” Hasina said.
She said a social health insurance project was being prepared for the RMG and tea garden workers with financial support from Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA).
Responding to another query from Awami League lawmaker Mamunur Rashid Kiron, the PM said the government has taken various steps to reach healthcare services to people’s doorstep.
The government has different projects to build and renovate health-related infrastructure, and increase the number of beds at hospitals at a cost of Tk 1.15 lakh crore by 2022, Hasina said.
It has a plan to increase life expectancy to 71.6 years by 2021, launch operation of 14,890 community clinics, turn all the upazila health complexes into 50-bed hospitals and provide 230 ambulances, 20 water ambulances and 330 jeeps to healthcare organisations.
The government also plans to reduce the death of infants aged below five to 25 percent, newborns to 12 percent, and free the country from rabies.
Responding to another query from Gonoforum MP Mukabbir Khan, the leader of the House said the number of mobile phone users in Bangladesh has increased to 16.05 crore till April this year, up from 4.5 crore in 2008.
The number of internet users reached 9.37 crore till April against 60 lakh in 2008, she added.