Cooperative societies : a sustainable platform for promoting universal health coverage in Bangladesh

Sarker, Abdur Razzaque and Sultana, Marufa and Mahumud, Rashidul Alam (2016) Cooperative societies : a sustainable platform for promoting universal health coverage in Bangladesh. BMJ Global Health, 1 (3).

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    Abstract

    Achieving Universal Health Coverage is among the core objectives of the health Sustainable Development Goals, and making healthcare affordable to everyone is fundamental to achieving Universal Health Coverage. ▸ Cooperative societies are autonomous groups of persons who voluntarily cooperate for their common economic interest, based on the values of self-help, self-responsibility, democracy and equality, equity and solidarity. ▸ There are 190 360 cooperatives in Bangladesh, and the total individual enrolees are 10 333 310 (with about 160 million people covered when spouses or dependents of enrolees are taken into account). Given this large pool, cooperative societies could be a platform to engage a large number of people regarding healthcare financing. ▸ Cooperative societies act as a risk management strategy for members, working on the basic principle of risk pooling during illness. This risk pooling mechanism can mitigate the consequences of dependence on out of pocket payments to finance healthcare, thereby facilitating the move towards Universal Health Coverage.