It is only through a healthy nation and a healthy people that we can make any sort of real claim to prosperity
With the coronavirus pandemic raging through the world and in Bangladesh, the recent budget needed to prioritize the health sector above all else, as we have editorialized on before.
And, in this regard, it is extremely encouraging to see that this is exactly what the government has done, increasing the allocation for the health sector by 23% to Tk29,247 crore.
This was needed, to say the least, as more and more people in the country are affected by the coronavirus and need essential services, from testing kits to ICUs, to combat the infection rate as well as the number of people who continue to lose their lives on a daily basis.
What is additionally encouraging is the fact that an additional Tk100 crore has been set up for medical research, an undoubtedly important and under-utilized aspect of health that has become especially important in these novel and challenging times.
But, in a country with a population of more than a 160 million, this might not be enough.
While the government’s decision to consider the new situation as a result of the coronavirus is commendable, we must not forget that, when it comes to the health sector, we have always been less than forthcoming with our focus, with the previous allocation of Tk23,692 crore being less than 1% of our GDP.
A lesson that we must take away from this ongoing pandemic and is that the health sector is one of the most important avenues towards sustainable development and must be prioritized above all else.
It is only through a healthy nation and a healthy people that we can make any sort of real claim to prosperity. We hope that a trend of increasing focus on the health sector continues into the future.