Discussants at a seminar have underscored the need for increasing allocation in the health sector for lessening healthcare expenditure of common people of the country.
"It is essential to raise allocation on health sector and ensure equal distribution to save money from our people's pocket to attain sustainable progress towards Universal Health Coverage (UHC) and Sustainable Development Goals (SGDs)," State Minister for Health and Family Welfare Zahid Maleque said.
He was speaking as the chief guest at a dissemination seminar on Bangladesh National Health Accounts (BNHA) 1997-20015 at a city hotel on Thursday.
Health Economics Unit (HEU) of the Health Services under Health Ministry and World Health Organisation (WHO) jointly organised the event, reports BSS.
Though the government allocation in health sector is increasing gradually every year, people of the country still have to spend major portion of the health expenditure from their own pockets, the state minister said.
He also suggested utilising the fund properly with the highest accountability as well as minimising the wastages.
"The current BNHA data presented fresh evidences as benchmarks in the health sector of the country aiming to help protect people from catastrophic health expenditure, reduce discrimination in health services and make definitive strides towards universal health coverage," he added.
The event was presided over by Additional Secretary (Development) of Health Services Division Harun-ur-Rashid Khan while Director General (Additional Secretary) of the Health Economics Unit M Ashadul Islam and representatives from WHO were present, among others.
"The 5th round of BHNA estimated that Bangladesh spends only 3 percent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in the health sector which is lower from our neighbouring countries including Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives," said M Ashadul Islam.
"According to the BNHA estimate, the total health expenditure (THE) of general people was US$ 37 in 2015 which was US$ 27 in 2012," said the expert.