Monitoring improvements in nationwide anesthesia capacity over time is critical to ensuring that population anesthesia needs are being met and identifying areas for targeted health systems interventions. Anesthesia resources in Bangladesh were previously measured using a cross-sectional nationwide hospital-based survey in 2012. No follow-up studies have been conducted since then.
A follow-up cross-sectional study was performed in 16 public hospitals; 8 of which are public district hospitals, and 8 are medical college (tertiary) hospitals in Bangladesh. A survey tool assessing hospital anesthesia capacity, developed by Vanderbilt University Medical Center, was utilized. Nationwide data were obtained from the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and from the Bangladesh Society of Anaesthesiologists. Institutional Review Board approvals were obtained in the United States and Bangladesh, and informed consent was waived.
Bangladesh has 952 anesthesiologists (0.58 anesthesiologists per 100,000 people), which represents a modest increase from 850 anesthesiologists in 2012. Significant improvements in electricity and clean water availability have occurred since the 2012 survey. Severe deficiencies in patient safety and monitoring equipment (eg, pulse oximetry, electrocardiography, blood pressure, anesthesia machines, and intubation materials) were noted, primarily at the district hospital level.
Despite modest improvements in certain anesthesia metrics over the past several years, the public health care system in Bangladesh still suffers from substantial deficiencies in anesthesia care.