Bangladesh has had less than 1% share of the annual budget for the health sector for over a decade now. The Covid 19 crisis has only made it more important to invest more in health services, infrastructure and personnel.
This opinion piece by Dr Fahmida Khatun gives an analysis of the health care expenditure of the Bangladesh government over the years and offers recommendations to bolster the country’s health care system through financing in specific Covid 19 response programmes.
Dr. Khatun enumerates that ‘allocation for health as a share of GDP increased from 0.84 % in FY2020 to 0.92 % in FY2021’ which is not enough for inclusive protection from COVID 19. She says that even the Annual Development Programme (ADP) announced for FY 2022 allocates 7.68 % (17,306 crores) to health.
She says much more will be required to procure adequate vaccines, vaccinate all eligible people across the country free of cost, enhance treatment capacity and more. For this ‘the composition of the health budget should be changed.’
Dr Fahmida Khatun is the Executive Director of the Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD), a leading think tank in South Asia, located in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Views in this article are personal.
Read the entire article originally published in The Daily Star here.
Image Credits: The Daily Star
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