Human Resources: Key Concern for Health System Strengthening in Bangladesh

Human Resources: Key Concern for Health System Strengthening in Bangladesh

A recent national health survey shows the progress of implementing different key health indicators. Despite having increased institutional delivery, the contribution of public health facilities is still low. With the strong leadership of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoH&FW), many development partners have been contributing to improving the country’s health system. Currently, one of the key barriers to service delivery is the limited health workforce. In a country of 156 million, it is an absolute concern. It has been an issue for a long time in Bangladesh. There are many vacant positions in the facilities located closer to the community. Hard-to-reach areas have a lack of available health services. Also, there is a lack of accountability to the general population. Where is the actual problem?

Here, health governance plays a vital role. There is coordination between the Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) and the Directorate General of Family Planning (DGFP). They follow the 4th Health Nutrition and Population Sector Program (HNPSP) (2017-22). However, the level of coordination at the decision and implementation level varies. All these need to be resolved with immediate effect. We can expect a strategic next health sector development program with line activities in the respective operation plans. The issue of deployment of a trained health workforce could be an important step to decide. A sufficient budget for the key gap areas found previously should be allocated. But at the same time, there is a need to utilize the budget with proper planning. Again, local government representatives started to mobilize resources for community health. Overall, it is time to coordinate effectively under the umbrella of health governance of the relevant authorities and decision-makers.

Dr. Zubair Shams
Member
Public Health Foundation, Bangladesh