It seems that we have found the root cause behind the fact that millions of taka worth of medical equipment is lying idle in hospitals around the nation – an incompetent health ministry.
While we would be hard-pressed to say that any Bangladeshi public sector entity is well-managed, it seems that the health ministry is going out of its way to beat out all others in inefficiency and poor planning.
Now, it seems that the ministry has taken upon itself, the task of spending the remaining 58% of its budget by June 30.
The fact that this essential ministry has such a cavalier attitude in its spending is downright frightening. It makes it seem as if they want to hold on to their current budgetary allotment, even if it means taking away from other necessary sectors.
The health ministry may try to argue that the nation lacks necessary medical equipment, that the full budget is necessary to improve the nation's healthcare system, and that the ministry has the competent personnel required to effectively plan and implement procurement activities related to the budget.
If that is, in fact, the case, then why does this kind of a situation arise at all?
The ball is in the ministry's court. It is up to them to efficiently plan procurement and utilise the budget they are given, and improve our health services as is their mandate; or to give up this portion of the budget to those who could actually bring about some positive developments.