Experts for resource mobilization to achieve Universal Health Coverage

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DHAKA, April 16, 2018 (BSS) – Health experts today said resource mobilization is one of the important components to achieve Universal Health Coverage (UHC) by 2032 as it ensures access of all segment of people of the society to healthcare facilities.

“Adequate financing in the health sector is needed to provide quality healthcare facilities to the people particularly economically vulnerable population of the country,” Dr. Muhammod Abdus Sabur, a health expert, told BSS.

There are a number of broader development and health system issues critical to the success of the proposed health care financing strategy, he said.

Among others, these include social safety nets, human resources management, development, pharmaceutical management, rational use of drugs , adequate health care technology, public and private partnership and governance, Sabur added.

Governance is a very important element for better utilization of resources which eventually will help provide quality health services to a large number of people of the society, he said adding authorities should ensure governance in the financing of health sector.

“The country lacks inadequate number of healthcare professionals. So, it needs to create more medical professionals to reach healthcare services to rural people for achieving universal healthcare facilities.

Bangladesh must ensure participation of people of all strata to develop better healthcare system through mobilizing resources as the government cannot alone achieve UHC, Director of Institute of Health Economics of University of Dhaka Professor Dr Syed Abdul Hamid said.

“We have to develop an effective and credible health insurance system to overcome financial hurdle against any catastrophic disease,” he added. The high out of pocket spending and the catastrophic impact of the health care, especially on the poor and vulnerable, must be decreased and financial protection for health must be increased, Dr Syed added.

“We have to create innovative ideas to generate resources for any emergency response to catastrophic diseases…. Both government and non-government organizations needs to create fund on health expenditure to ensure Universal Health Coverage,” he added.

Activities facilitating UHC in Bangladesh has gained new momentum following the commitment of the Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in the 64th World Health Assembly in May 2011 to achieve UHC by 2032. Some strategic initiatives undertaken since then include the formulation of the Health Care Financing Strategy 2012-2032, Communication Strategy for UHC 2014-2016 and Bangladesh National Health Accounts-2015.

Former Director General of Health Economics Unit Md Asadul Islam said Bangladesh has achieved remarkable success in primary health care services delivery though it has the lowest per capita health expenditure in the SAARC region.

This country has been plagued with the burden of unacceptably high out of pocket expenditure at the level of 64 percent of total health expenditure, he said, “The government spending is around 26 percent. The economically vulnerable population of the country is threatened with impoverishment in case of catastrophic illness.”

Referring to the current budgetary allocation of 5.16 percent on health, Asadul said Bangladesh will require more than just increased financial resources for health, it will require improved ways of organizing resource mobilization, allocation and expenditure in order to obtain the maximum value for money to ensure equitable and sustainable financing and financial protection against the health expenditure for the entire population.

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