Bangladesh at a Glance
Living in Bangladesh
Healthcare in Bangladesh
In Bangladesh there are 1,683 hospitals, 678 of which are government funded while 1,005 are privately funded. Many of the privately funded hospitals are medical teaching facilities, which are situated in the urban districts of several regions and provide specialized care in a variety of disciplines. In addition to these hospitals, there are also specific health care centers throughout Bangladesh, which operate to tackle infectious diseases such as tuberculosis and leprosy.
Bangladesh is a developing country and for most residents, the health care conditions and services are poor. According to the World Health Organization, only 3% of the country’s entire GDP expenditure is put towards health care and the number of hospital beds per 10,000 people is just four.
One of the main problems that the health system of Bangladesh faces is the inability of many citizens to access health care facilities. Although basic care is free in government funded hospitals, many patients end up being billed for the costs of medicine and tests.
The best hospitals and facilities can be found in the capital city, Dhaka. This includes Apollo Hospital, Square Hospital and United Hospital. Foreigners living in Bangladesh should take out comprehensive international health insurance, which will cover the cost of medical evacuation or treatment in one of Dhaka’s private hospitals.
Transportation in Bangladesh
Over half of Bangladesh is within three miles of the country’s all-weather, hard surface road network. In the past decade, there has been a significant expansion of roads and public transportation routes. Due to the extremely dense population of Bangladesh, the roads suffer from frequent and severe traffic jams. This makes driving in the cities very difficult and unpleasant due to issues with air pollution, dangerous driving and common road rage incidents.
There is a vast selection of vehicles on the roads and highways of Bangladesh, including minibuses, cars, rickshaws, tractors with trays filled with travelling people, motorbikes, scooters, bikes and water buffalo carts. Big cities such as Rajshahi and Khulna most commonly use mini-tractors called nazamans for public transportation.
There are 8433 km of inland waterways in Bangladesh, and as a result, boat trips are a very popular mode of transportation throughout the country.
Safety and Security in Bangladesh
Bangladesh has a troubled governmental past, and a long history of political violence. Before relocating to Bangladesh, expats are strongly advised to monitor the news media and find out how stable the situation in the country is.
The country is mostly safe and the crime level in most regions is relatively low. However, crime — particularly theft — does occur throughout Bangladesh, especially in crowded cities. Armed robbery, pick pocketing and purse snatching sometimes occur, so foreign nationals should avoid carrying large amounts of cash and wearing noticeable jewelry.
Phone snatching is also common, and expensive mobile phones should not be openly displayed on crowded streets. Thieves often work in pairs and operate on motorbikes. There have also been reports of police officials abusing their authority, so foreign nationals should always be accompanied when visiting a police station.