The allocation has increased by Tk 41.32 billion. But the health ministry usually fails to use their allocation and ends up returning the remaining amount at the end of the financial year.

Professor Syed Abdul Hamid from the Institute of Health Economics, Dhaka University, told Prothom Alo, “The total national budget has increased by 14 per cent. The allocation for health sector has risen by a little more than 12 per cent. Which means the proposed budget is not giving importance to the health sector it should have.”

After the Covid-19 pandemic began, the allocation for health ministry increased significantly. But it’s still less than the required amount.

In the 2020-21 financial year, 5.8 per cent of the total national budget was allocated for the health sector. In the FY 2021-22, 5.4 per cent of the total budget was allocated for the health sector.

In FY 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20, the total allocation for the health sector was 5.2, 4.8 and 4.2 per cent respectively.

In a pre-budget discussion held at the Daily Star centre, organised by Bangladesh Health Watch and Unnayan Shamannay last week, Bangladesh Bank’s former governor Atiur Rahman had proposed to allocate 7-8 per cent of the total budget for health sector in the 2022-23 fiscal year.