The government has allocated Tk 38,052 crore for Health and Family Welfare sector in the proposed budget for 2023-2024 fiscal year and it was Tk 36,863 crore in the fiscal year 2022-2023.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said the allocation is meant for the overall development of the sector.
While placing the budget, the finance minister said, "As you are well aware, ensuring quality and people-friendly healthcare is one of the election pledges of our government."
He said, "We are working to implement this commitment. In particular, we have mobilized and managed adequate financial support from development partners to address the health crisis during the COVID-19 pandemic and procured and administered vaccines in the quickest possible time."
Bangladesh is among the first 5 countries in the world to administer and provide people with the COVID-19 vaccine, the finance minister said
"As a precautionary measure in case of recurrence of COVID-19, we have prepared 'Bangladesh Preparedness and Response Plan (BPRP)' amending the 'National Preparedness and Response Plan (NPRP) for COVID-2019," he said.
Kamal said preventive activities are going on according to this plan 16 National Guidelines, 29 other directives, 4 SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) and 13 communication materials for public awareness have been prepared which are currently being followed for the prevention and control of COVID-19.
A total of 12,860 general beds and 1,186 ICU beds have been set up in Covid-19 dedicated hospitals, he said, adding central oxygen supply systems have been provided to all district hospitals, medical college hospitals and specialized hospitals of the country.
Besides, at least 5 beds are earmarked for Covid patients at all district and upazila levels, the finance minister said adding, "This number will be increased in future, if required."
He said, "We have continued the provision of providing care through mobile phones and other hotline services for COVID-19 and other health issues. The RT-PCR test is being done in 162 laboratories across the country. In addition, COVID-19 tests are being conducted by 57 Gene Expert Machines and 666 COVID-19 Rapid Antigen Test Centres."
BDST: 1750 HRS, JUNE 1, 2023