Health sector needs to be empowered in next budget

Experts in a pre-budget discussion in city

Speakers in a pre-budget webinar emphasized on various aspects of health finance and urged for increasing development cost in health management. The webinar was held at the liaison office of Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur on Thursday organized by Dr Wazed Research & Training Institute, Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur, Eminence Associate for Social Development, Bangladesh and Digital Healthcare Foundation.

Dhaka University’s former Professor of the Dept. of Management Studies Dr Md. Mohiuddin who is currently working as Professor at School of Business of Ahsanullah University of Science & Technology presented the main paper. He said that budget refers to the financial planning of a fiscal year through which government & parties express their dreams and philosophies of national welfare. He said that some of the achievements from 2019-2020 fiscal year are- per capita income rose to 1,909 US dollars (March 2020), Poverty line falls to 9.2% (2019), to move Bangladesh from a least developed country to a middle income country, inflation rate stays at satisfactory level 5.60% (March 2020), GDP growth to be 8.13%, Unemployment rate is 4.29%, and highlighted various aspects including the success of launching various projects in poverty alleviation and so on.

Main presenter told that due to the outbreak of coronavirus, Bangladesh’s economy and development are facing a crisis and economic activities have come to a standstill. Especially low-income people are in abnormal conditions, SME business men are losing their capital and huge laborers are losing their jobs approximately the number is 22 lakhs. Besides, 74% of families income have decreased, lower middle class families have gone below the poverty line and it is guessed that almost 5 crore people will become poor. On the other hand, garment industries have lost their orders whereas extreme mismanagement and incapability of the health system have been exposed before us that raise question about the current health system like- their development budget and other activities. Govt. has already taken some initiatives to reduce the losses which receive very positive feedback. Among them announcing tk.1 lakh as incentive package including garment industries, agriculture field and other emergency services, giving financial support to 50 lakh poor families, starting to sell rice tk.10 per kg and many others are remarkable.

Considering present situation, he suggested to emphasize the following matters in upcoming budget to recover the crisis and to make sure equal distribution system by reducing income discrimination and to walk towards zero poverty, making systems through which common people can get money, giving loan at a lower rate of interest or without interest and without collateral to capital loser SME business men, giving incentive to restart the closed 1,126 factories, to manage employment facilities for 14 lakhs returned-migrant workers, increasing development cost in health management, establishing technology based agricultural system, Utilizing land etc.

Dr Muhiuddin Khan Alamgir former Home Minister and honorable Parliament Member (Chadpur-1) who was the chief guest of this program said that emphasis should be given on agriculture field along with health system in the upcoming budget.

In this webinar speakers presented different spheres of upcoming budget by analyzing the previous one. Former Senior Secretary of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare Md. Humayun Kobir highlighted various aspects of health Finance. Dr Shuchita Sharmin, Professor, Department of Development Studies, University of Dhaka, comments on women’s empowerment and Chairman of Digital Health Care Foundation Brigadier General Md. Abdul Hamid, (LPR) expressed his views on the challenges and possibilities of Digital Health Care.

Prof Dr AbulHasnat Milton, CEO of Research International, spoke on the challenges of governance, and ProfTasbirul Islam, MD, Clinical Associate, Arnet University Hospital, USA, discussed on the present context of clinical management monitoring.

Dr Saber Ahmed Chowdhury, Associate Professor, Department of Peace and Conflict Studies, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Dhaka, spoke on government’s budget allocation for the education sector.Mohammad ShamimTalukder, CEO of Eminence Associate for Social Development Bangladesh, talks about nutrition, MadhusudanMandal of Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS) spoke on health protection of media and media workers and A.R. Farrukh Ahmed, Assistant Editor of the daily, The New Nation, spoke on freedom of expression.

Former FBCCI President and Doshdisha group’s Chairman Mohammad Amin Helali talked about the nature of the pace of business and Western Sydney University, Australia’s Ahmed Khan, Member, Humanitarian and Development Research Initiative, (HADRI), expressed his view on human rights and manpower empowerment.

Dewan Md. Noor E Yazdani, Assistant Professor, College of Business Administration, International University of Business Agriculture and Technology talked about private sector investment and Rumana Papari, a part-time teacher in the Department of Pali and Buddhist Studies at Dhaka University spoke on mother and child.

Also connected to Facebook live and electronic media, listeners and viewers ask a variety of questions. Dr Tanvir Abir, Associate Professor, College of Business Administration, International University of Business Agriculture and Technology, moderated the webinar. He welcomed the Chief Guest and Chairman of this event and also the audience, print and electronic media persons and all those who were involved with it as a moderator.

Professor Dr Major Nazmul Ahsan Kalimullah, BNCCO, Director, Dr Wazed Research and Training Institute, Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur and Vice-Chancellor, Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur was present as the Chairman of this discussion session on “Pre-Budget Review: COVID-19 Integrated Social Development Thoughts and Expectations.” He thanked the respected discussants and said that to overcome present situation the policy makers should follow today’s suggestions and take necessary steps. Finally, he has ended this session by giving thanks to each and everyone worked for this program.

Md. Habibur Rahman, M Phil. Research Fellow, Dr Wazed Research and Training Institute, Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur and Sakina Akter Sema, Section Officer (Grade-1), Vice Chancellor Office, Begum Rokeya University, Rangpur acted as webinar’s Associate Moderator reporters.

The media partners of this program were The Daily Jugantor, The New Nation, The Daily Sun, The Asian Age and Jamuna TV.