An allocation of Tk36,863 crore has been proposed for the health sector in the budget for the fiscal year 2022-23, which is less than 6% of the total budget like previous years.
According to experts, this conventional health budget will not decrease out-of-pocket expenditure and commoners will witness a rise in health expenditure.
Around 68% of the country's total health outlay is borne by the public. Every year, some 86 lakh people fall below the poverty line to meet this expense.
At present, people are struggling to meet their living expenses due to soaring inflation. Since the allocation has not increased, medical expenses will go up.
Of the total proposed amount, the Health Services Division will get Tk29,282 crore, and the Medical Education And Family Welfare Division will get Tk7,582 crore, said Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal while presenting the budget proposal for FY22-23 in the Parliament on Thursday.
The health budget for the outgoing FY2021-22 was Tk32,731 crore, which means the allocation has been increased by almost 13%.
"The growth in allocation will basically meet up the incremental costs and inflationary measures," said Dr Syed Abdul Hamid, a professor at the Institute of Health Economics at Dhaka University.
While presenting the budget, the finance minister said, "Child Development Centre has been established in 16 medical college hospitals, including at Dhaka Shishu Hospital. It has also been planned to do so in 15 more medical college hospitals, and in 9 district hospitals."
"To achieve universal health care coverage, steps have been taken to formulate 'Health Protection Law'. Besides, 'Infection Protection Guideline' has been prepared for the community clinics," he said.
Minister Kamal said, "For the development of nursing colleges, we will complete Dhaka Nursing College accreditation this fiscal year. Activities are underway to establish medical universities in every division and transform the Nursing Institute into Nursing College."
"For the development of medical education, steps have been taken to establish simulation labs in eight medical colleges," the finance minister added.