Import of Health Care Services From India: Is It Complementary to or Substitute of the National Health Service of Bangladesh?

Bangladeshi patients frequently visit the neighbouring country of India for medical care. The patients often go to India for medical interventions that are already available in Bangladesh. Hence, the question is to evaluate whether the trade-in health services between these two countries is originating from substitution or complementary effects. The paper analyzes this question based on the nature of health services used by Bangladeshi patients in India and Bangladesh. It also analyzes health outcomes and economic benefits of receiving health care abroad and in the home country. Health outcomes are measured in QALY gains, calculated using the EuroQol procedure. The findings suggest that foreign health services are complementary to national health services. Bangladeshi patients use health services in Kolkata in India for comparatively better treatment. Patients gain more QALY when they get treatment abroad. The relative price of medical treatment is also lower abroad. The paper concludes with the opinion that cooperation between countries for trade in health services may reduce costs and make the available necessary health care more equitable. The trade of health services may bring economic gain for both countries.

Authors: Hasan, Abu Hena Reza; Naim, Sayada Jannatun
Type: Journal Article
Date: 2019