Basic health care needs to become a priority for the government
One of the goals of any nation on the cusp of being classified middle-income is to ensure the highest quality health care to even the most vulnerable amongst its people.
In fact, the World Health Organization’s mission for this year’s World Health Day was to focus on universal health coverage, the key to which it states is “ensuring that everyone can obtain the care they need, when they need it.”
This is a goal that we as a nation should definitely aspire to achieve.
Unfortunately, for Bangladesh, it seems that, as a country, the health sector remains grossly neglected.
This is, in fact, highlighted by how little we allocated towards health care spending in last year’s budget: A little over 5%, which is not only one of the lowest in the region, but also globally.
We need to learn from our our regional neighbours, who understand the importance of investing in an efficient and effective health sector. Not only is it our moral duty to ensure that health care is a fundamental right that is catered to within the borders of Bangladesh, we need to recognize that not doing so would have grave long-term effects on our economy.
Is it any surprise that so many of our citizens decide to seek treatment privately or abroad, oftentimes giving up everything they had in the process, solely because the health care we provide as a public service is so sub par?
This needs to change, and basic health care needs to become a priority for the government. It will go a long way towards ensuring that the progress we make is sustainable and the population we have continues to be nurtured.