In a program, economists, health specialists, and parliamentarians suggested that by increasing the health budget allocation by three times and recruiting health professionals to fill vacant posts, out-of-pocket spending could be reduced to 51 per cent from the current 68 per cent.
On Monday, Bangladesh Health Watch, Brac University’s James P Grant School of Public Health, and Unnayan Shamannay held a combined event at the Daily Star Bhaban in Dhaka. Atiur Rahman pointed out that the health ministry’s lack of budget-spending capacity is a major impediment to expanding the health budget allocation, as half of the amount is left unspent every year.
In the FY’2022-23 budget, the recognized economist advised increasing the budget allocation to 7 per cent -8 per cent, with at least 45 per cent going to primary healthcare. Speakers emphasized that over 86 lakh people fall into poverty each year, bearing a whopping 68 per cent of total health expenditure on their own.
They urged the government to boost the health budget allocation so that people are less under pressure to pay for healthcare in a time of high inflation, which has made it difficult for them to meet their daily expenses. Lawmaker Habib e Millat emphasized the importance of the health sector in medium-to-long-term national planning documents such as the five-year plans in his remarks.
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