Health budget to go up for pandemic


The health ministry is going to get an increased allocation in the upcoming budget due to coronavirus pandemic, despite transparency concerns.

It will be 5 percent of the total outlay, bigger than the current fiscal, according to the budget document.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal recently placed the plan to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in a meeting. The budget will be proposed at the Jatiya Sangsad on June 11. Tk27,850 crore allocation has been proposed which is Tk7,905 crore more than the ongoing fiscal.

Health will also be one of the priority sectors this year as the country is fighting coronavirus pandemic. 

The government has recruited 2,000 doctors and 5,054 nurses in May to meet the emergency demand. More doctors will be recruited in the next fiscal year. More medical equipment will be bought.

Of the total allocation, 53.20 percent will go for revenue spending including salaries, allowances and bonus of doctors and nurse along with establishment costs.

The government also kept Tk850 crore for compensation and allowances for doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, police and armed forces engaged in treatment and management of coronavirus patients.

Tk4,282 crore would go to the development budget for the health sector from the external sources. 

The World Bank and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) have approved $100 million each to aid the government in the health sector. 

Three development projects will be taken with a cost of Tk3,200 crore.

Tk13,033 crore has been planned to allocate for the health which will be the highest amongst the 12 sectors in the Annual Development Programme. 

More funds will be allocated for research and development of the sector.

The finance division, however, observed that health ministry could not utilize its fund in the current fiscal.

An official said still Tk300 crore funds remained idle with the ministry, despite the fact that the government lacks ventilators for coronavirus patients’ management.

They also recommended that the health ministry should focus on stopping mismanagement and corruption as reported in different media.