Bangladesh Healthcare Sectors
The Bangladesh healthcare sector comprises of hospitals, clinics, diagnostic centers, clinical trials, outsourcing, telemedicine, and medical devices and equipment. Growing at a CAGR of 10.3% percent since 2010, the size of the healthcare industry has reached USD 6.76 billion in 2018 (in terms of spending on the healthcare expenditure), doubling in the last 8 years. The healthcare industry is dominated by private sector with high growth in tertiary hospitals and diagnostics centers. As of the end of 2019, there were 255 public hospitals, 5,054 private hospitals and clinics, and 9,529 diagnostic centers under the registration of Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS). The number of hospital beds available in public hospitals amounted to 54,660, whereas the same figure in private ones amounted to 91,537, bringing the total number of beds to 143,394 at the end of 2019.
The Bangladesh government values the significance of health towards building a healthy and productive population. Over time, the country has made great progress in improving life expectancy, reducing infectious disease, infant and maternal mortality. The government is encouraging further development of the sector through favorable incentives. The sector is open to 100 percent FDI with tax holidays being offered to new hospitals who meet a few conditions.
Large domestic market with increased affordability
Around 30 to 40 million people are forecasted to graduate from poverty to the entry-level of the middle-income class by 2025, and another 30 million would move up the income ladder and reach the higher standard of living.
Current low per capita spending combined with increasing spending on healthcare indicates potential for future growth
While per capita spending is $42, it has been growing at a CAGR of 9% since 2013, implying potential to increase healthcare spending rapidly as income rises.
Increasing acceptability of telemedicine
The number of people using internet has more than doubled in the last 5 years giving rise to the demand for internet enabled services such as telemedicine. The covid19 has accelerated the growth and acceptability of telemedicine.
Increasing life expectancy and aging population
The life expectancy of the average person stood at 72.59 years compared to 65. 45 years in 2000. People aged 60 and up are also expected to increase to 13 million in 2019 from 42 million in 20150.
Changing disease profile
Bangladesh has been experiencing a rapid shift in disease pattern where non-communicable diseases (NCDs) has become the leading causes of mortality accounting for 67% of all deaths in 2016.
Increasing insurance coverage expected in the future
The government plans to provide universal healthcare coverage by 2032, thereby increasing the demand for healthcare services.
Offshore Development Hub and Captive BPO Centers
Bangladesh is another attractive place for the multinationals and foreign industries for the establishment of their offshore development hub (for software and application) and captive BPO centers (including call centers).
IT Training, Vocational School Business
Opportunities for Bangladeshi youth to acquire advanced and basic IT skills can be extended through private investments to vocational and training institutions specialized in IT engineering, and business management and graphic design. Such investments are deemed valuable, since there could be many potential students interested in working for IT business, and computer engineers intending to equip more advanced skills.
Standards Accreditation Business
Smaller BPO firms do not have international certifications for IT-related standards (on software development process, internal control over contracted service, information security management). This is because the certification is costly, as local auditors are not readily available for most standards’ certification
Artificial Intelligence based system design and/or manufacturing
Bangladesh is embracing artificial intelligence (AI) for the digitalization of the nation. The government has developed a draft national strategy for artificial intelligence and is providing corporate tax exemption for developers/manufacturers of artificial intelligence-based system design (Income tax Ordinance, 1984 46BB).
Available bed density per 10,000 population was 8 in 2016, which is low compared to the global standards indicating untapped need for tertiary/ secondary hospital establishment. Shifting disease profile to non-communicable disease has increased demand for specialized care for cardiac and oncology treatment at tertiary institutions.
According to Bangladesh NCD Risk Factor Survey 2018, around 16% Bangladeshis, aged 40-69 years, are at risk of suffering from cardiovascular diseases. In addition, Bangladesh has nearly 20 million people suffering from various kidney and urological problems and a large gap currently exists in available cancer treatment facilities.
The government is also providing tax holiday for new hospitals based on a few conditions.
With over 112 million internet users in the country, tele-healthcare has a great potential to reach out to a vast majority of the population, both in cities and regional towns. A research by a local digital health service provider suggests 80-90% of consultation cases in primary care can be solved through online-consultation boosting the demand for digital healthcare services. The National Digital Health Strategy is expected to further improve the accessibility, quality and affordability of health services through digital technology.
Sector Specific Incentives and policies
Health care service providers will enjoy a tax holiday on their first ten years on income from health care services. This will be only applicable for businesses that will start providing services between July 1, 2021 and Jun 30, 2030.