Statement of Hon’ble Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the UN High-level meeting on Universal Health Coverage, 21 September 2023

Bismillahir Rahmanir Rahim


Mr./ Madam Chair,

Distinguished delegates,

Universal Health Coverage is one of the most ambitious yet achievable of SDG targets.

In Bangladesh, we have a constitutional obligation to ensure health access for all. We have established a nationwide healthcare system, from community clinics to specialized medical hospitals. We work closely with non-government partners at the grassroots.

Our growing health sector investments have demonstrated results. We have reduced maternal mortality to 163 per one hundred thousand live births. Neo-natal mortality has decreased to 15 and under-five mortality to 28 per thousand live births. Our emphasis on child immunization has achieved universal coverage. Our average life expectancy is now close to 73 years.

Mr. Chair,

Bangladesh has been recognised as one of the world’s best in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. We are now working on high alert to combat dengue. We are introducing advanced treatments for cancer, diabetes and heart diseases. Bangladesh has set standards in providing medical care in humanitarian and peacekeeping operations.

Our policies and interventions on mental health and neurological disorders are widely appreciated. We provide reproductive health services in a culturally-sensitive manner. We are promoting a “One Health Approach” to prepare against Anti-Microbial Resistance. We are raising awareness about nutrition, vision impairment and drowning.

Mr. Chair,

I strongly believe that no one should suffer from out-of-pocket health expenses. Our public health facilities provide services at zero or minimum costs, covering nearly 80% of our population. Our focus remains on improving their service quality with trained workforce. Our next target is to develop a viable financing model for reimbursing costs. In Bangladesh, we meet 98% of our pharmaceutical needs from domestic production.

Mr./ Madam Chair,

I request our international partners to support us in the following areas:

First, to sustain development assistance for child, maternal and adolescents’ health and address migrants’ health and climate-health nexus;

Second, to share expertise in developing an inter-operable, data-driven Health Information System with Health ID for all;

Third, to help develop a robust health insurance scheme suited to our context;

Fourth, to enhance health sector investments, including in fast-growing health-tech start-ups; and,

Fifth, to comply with TRIP obligations on patent disclosure and technology transfer for protecting public health.


Mr. Chair,

Distinguished delegates,  

Our generation can change history by promoting UHC. Let us all join hands to make that possible.

I thank you.

Joi Bangla, Joi Bangabandhu.