Speakers at a dialogue have said the commitments related to the development of health sector, made by the political parties prior to the national elections in 2018, have become even more relevant due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Over the course of three national budgets, a significant amount of resources have been allocated to attain these goals. Yet there remains a long way to go. All stakeholders must work together to fulfil these commitments,” they said at an online national dialogue organised jointly by Bangladesh Health Watch and Unnayan Shamannay on Saturday.
The title of the event was ‘Assessing progress towards the realisation of health-related commitments of election 2018’.
UnnayanShamannay Chair and former Governor of Bangladesh Bank Dr Atiur Rahman presented the keynote paper.
Whip of Bangladesh National Parliament- Abu Sayeed Al Mahmood Swapon, MP; member of the Parliamentary Committee on the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare- Dr Ruhal Haque, MP; parliamentarian from Sirajganj 02 constituency- Dr Habibe Millat, MP; parliamentarian from Chapai Nawabganj 01 constituency- Dr Samil Uddin Ahmed Shimul, MP; parliamentarian from Gaibandha 01 constituency- Shamim Haider Patwary; parliamentarian from reserved women seat 30- Gloria JharnaSarker, MP; and president of Bangladesh Medical Associate- Dr Mustafa Jalal Mohiuddin were among the discussants. The online session was moderated by media personality Mithila Farjana.
While presenting the keynote, Dr Atiur Rahman pointed out that just analysing the budgetary allocations would not suffice to understand the extent of realisation of the election manifesto commitments related to healthcare. Rather, he added, stakeholders ought the check for what goals the administration intends to attain with those allocations. For that additional Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) could be incorporated in the Medium-term Budgetary Framework (MTFB) of the government. Ruhal Haque, MP said that ensuring adequate human resources for the healthcare sector should be considered as the topmost priority. The need for decentralisation of public health administration was emphasised by Shamim Haider, MP. Whip Sayeed Al Mahmood informed the audience that the government is committed to fulfilling its healthcare-related election commitments despite numerous challenges posed by the ongoing pandemic. Dhaka University Professor- Dr Ruamana Haque delivered the vote of thanks on behalf of the organisers.