The health sector requires more investment and proportionate allocations across the country for proper development
There is a direct link between the health system and productivity. If a person can be kept healthy then his productivity will increase.
According to the World Health Organization, keeping every person healthy can double the productivity rate. The more investment is made in healthcare and management, the healthier the people will be and the more the country will develop.
The allocations made by any government in the health and education sectors are a profitable investment for it. A higher investment will ensure improved quality.
Allocation of funds in the health sector is a prerequisite for the improvement of the quality of healthcare.
In our country, less than 1% of the GDP (gross domestic product) is allocated to the health sector, while the proportion is 2.5-3% in neighbouring India and 15% in the United States.
Merely building health infrastructure is not enough. You have to provide manpower, equipment, laboratory support as well.
Healthcare systems and healthcare services are intertwined. Health services will not improve if health management is not improved.
A lot of allocations are required for the development of both these areas. Without money, the healthcare system cannot be expanded with just manpower.
The ongoing Covid-19 pandemic will have some effects on health management, for sure. Therefore, more importance should be given to health management now. Otherwise, the hard-won progress made by the country in various indices will be affected.
Child mortality has decreased in our country. We did well in the millennium development goals (MDGs). But now we have to achieve more ambitious sustainable development goals (SDGs). Malnutrition is one of the leading causes of infant mortality. This area should be given importance.
In addition, the allocation made in the health sector should be equal everywhere in the country. The allocation that will be kept aside for Dhaka will have to be of the same amount kept for Satkhira.
Increasing allocations for only Dhaka and Chattogram, leaving other districts and marginal areas deprived, will not ensure aspired development.
Dr Ehteshamul Huq Choudhury is the Secretary General of Bangladesh Medical Association.