Health in Myanmar - statistics & facts

As of 2020, Myanmar had a total population of over 54 million people. The increased population has brought with it a need for change and modernization within the healthcare sector. The administration of the healthcare system is distributed between the public and private sectors, in terms of finance and supply. Nevertheless, all administrative functions are ultimately overseen by the Ministry of Health (MoH). The Ministry of Health is further divided into six departments which provide healthcare services to the entire population. Basic healthcare services and primary healthcare are catered to by the Department of Public Health. The Department of Medical Services oversees treatments and rehabilitation facilities, while the Department of Medical research conducts nation-wide surveys and research for medical development. The training of medical health professionals is the duty of the Department of Health Professional Resource Development (HPRD) and Management. Other areas within the ministry include the Department of Food and Drug Administration, and the Department of Traditional Medicine.

Health state

Regarding the state of health among citizens of Myanmar, there are differing levels. Myanmar has made some progress in achieving its Millennium Development Goals, in accordance with the United Nations Millennium Declaration, signed in 2000. However, it struggled to attain several of its targets for 2015. There have been constant fluctuations in the immunization of children aged two years and below against measles and DPT. Cholera cases also increased throughout the country and had one of the highest incidence rates of all the Asian countries.

Persisting problems

With its relatively recent democratic transition from a military rule, the Southeast Asian nation has attempted to make progress in reforming its healthcare system with varying results. Despite increases in funding, the country still fell behind other ASEAN nations dramatically in terms of its health expenditure. Additionally, health expenditure still only accounted for under five percent of the nation’s GDP. Nevertheless, the number of hospitals has increased along with the number of doctors, resulting in the decrease of the average duration of hospital stays. Despite the improvement in hospital infrastructure, health expenditure per capita has increased. Although out of pocket costs have reduced from the onset of 2015, they still remained higher than the global average. Yet another challenge resided with the drastic drop in the number of midwives, nurses, and dental surgeons. Although Myanmar has undoubtedly improved its health system throughout recent years, there still remains critical issues which the nation must address if it is to carry on with further improvements.

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Health in Myanmar

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