Innovation for universal health coverage in Bangladesh: A call to action

Alayne M. Adams, Tanvir Ahmed, Shams El Arifeen, Timothy G. Evans, Tanvir Huda, Laura Reichenbach, Faruque Ahmed, Shamim Ahmed, Syed Masud Ahmed, Kishwar Azad, Abbas Bhuiya, Shehrin Shaila Mahmood, Richard A. Cash, Lincoln C. Chen, Mahbub Elahi Chowdhury, A. Mushtaque R. Chowdhury, Aliki Christou, Shantana R. Halder, Mushtuq Husain, Md Sirajul IslamKhaled Shamsul Islam, Shireen Huq, Zakir Hussain, Simeen Mahmud, Fuad H. Mallick, Maria A. May, Ferdous Arfina Osman, David H. Peters, Henry Perry, Atonu Rabbani, M. Aminur Rahman, Mahmudur Rahman, Sabrina Rasheed, Sabina F Rashid, Ahmed Al-Sabir, Hilary Standing

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


A post-Millennium Development Goals agenda for health in Bangladesh should be defined to encourage a second generation of health-system innovations under the clarion call of universal health coverage. This agenda should draw on the experience of the first generation of innovations that underlie the country's impressive health achievements and creatively address future health challenges. Central to the reform process will be the development of a multipronged strategic approach that: responds to existing demands in a way that assures affordable, equitable, high-quality health care from a pluralistic health system; anticipates health-care needs in a period of rapid health and social transition; and addresses underlying structural issues that otherwise might hamper progress. A pragmatic reform agenda for achieving universal health coverage in Bangladesh should include development of a long-term national human resources policy and action plan, establishment of a national insurance system, building of an interoperable electronic health information system, investment to strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, and creation of a supraministerial council on health. Greater political, financial, and technical investment to implement this reform agenda offers the prospect of a stronger, more resilient, sustainable, and equitable health system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2104-2111
Number of pages8
JournalThe Lancet
Issue number9910
StatePublished - 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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