Ensure proper use of health budget

31 May, 2021 12:00 AM printer

Covid-19 has forced almost every country of the world to alter their calculations and planning related to geopolitics and economics for the past year or so. Fighting the coronavirus is not the lone job of any single country of the world, but a concerted effort of all. As one country of the world starts to feel complacent, the virus returns stronger than before. To restore the balance of global peace, harmony and well-being, all countries of the world must work concertedly to defeat this pandemic menace.

The upcoming budget of Bangladesh is also likewise going to focus more on protecting lives and livelihoods than any other issues, as the pandemic shows no sign of respite. According to officials of the finance ministry, the government is going to set aside Tk 100 billion in the budget to undertake a massive vaccination programme of about 100 million people this year. In addition to procurement, distribution of vaccines to the most vulnerable people will be of utmost importance. Towards this end, the health sector must be uplifted both qualitatively and quantitatively to be able to provide desired healthcare facilities to all corners of the country.

Healthcare is a service sector. Therefore, the quality of healthcare services depends as much on the modern equipment as on the skills, experience and dedication of the doctors and caregivers. At this juncture, looking at our healthcare facilities we must acknowledge that we are plagued with acute shortage of trained manpower. Therefore, it is absolutely essential to have an adequate number of trained doctors, nurses and technicians, without whom the best health centres will be of no use. More important than having the modern infrastructures equipped with state of the art machinery, it is necessary to have trained people to man them even in normal times, what to talk about the pandemic!

The decision to invest more in healthcare is welcome but money alone will not magically transform the ailing health sector; intense monitoring will be needed to ensure allocated funds are utilised properly. Utilising properly does not mean using up the funds any which way by the authorities, but ensuring most efficient, economic and effective use of funds to give tenfold services to the people, so that, once this pandemic is over we may have the best healthcare ever.