Trade in Health Services in South Asia: An Examination of the Need for Regional Cooperation
Posted: 25 Sep 2011
Date Written: June 24, 2011
This study was conducted in three South Asian countries viz: India, Bangladesh and Nepal. In order to gain insights into the trade in health services in India, the study examines the opinions of patients, hospitals owners and doctors involved in this service trade. A total of 190 foreign patients from SAARC countries that came to India to receive medical services, 20 hospitals across five metros, and 65 doctors active in offering professional services were surveyed using three structured questionnaires. Two case studies were carried out on two countries (Bangladesh and Nepal) to examine the demand aspects of health service trade. This study also aims to profile the health service sector of these two countries which might affect trade in health services. It focuses on the liberalization of health services and assesses the challenges and opportunities posed by the liberalization of trade on the provisions of health services and options for national policy makers. It further makes an effort to examine the barriers in health service trade in the two relatively small countries of South Asia. An effort is made to explore possible regional cooperation in health service trade among the above three countries of the SAARC region. The evidence is actually useful in order to understand commitments and challenges regarding trade in health services in the SAARC region.
Keywords: Trade in Medical Services, Trade Liberalization, India, Bangladesh, Nepal
JEL Classification: F10, F12
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation