Development Partners including the World Health Organization (WHO) have challenged Government to consider increasing and prioritizing funding to the health sector.

Appearing before the Parliamentary Committee on Health, the development partners who also included UNHCR, Centre for Disease Control, SIDA, KOICA, USAID, World Food Programme and UNICEF, requested the committee to lobby the Government to increase its budget allocation to health for purposes of sustainability especially in light of the economic and social shocks occasioned by Covid19.

Dr. Julius Kasozi, UNHCR’s Public Health Officer and Chairperson of the Health Development Partners raised concern over the decreased health budget allocation from 8.9 per cent to 6.1 per cent in the last 10 years even with the growing pressing demands on the health systems locally and globally.

“It is easy to lobby for funding from external players when the Government is seen to be doing everything in its might to prioritize funding to the health sector,” Said Dr Kasozi.

Kasozi was concerned over the continued dependency on aid from development partners despite its continued decrease.

He projected the aid decrease was likely to continue and pointed out that in the last year alone, external funding decreased by UGX 511.4 billion on account of projects that are exiting and those that have scaled-down.

Kasozi also emphasized the importance of the need to operationalize the National Health Insurance Scheme. He said that the move would help lower the out-of-pocket expenditure on medical care.

Bulambuli Woman MP, Irene Muloni appealed to the development partners not to reduce their support to the health sector because the country is not in a position to fill the funding gaps.

She was concerned that the country was still struggling and the recent pandemic has put a lot of pressure on the economy and the health sector.

“We need you more than ever to compensate for the funding gaps in the health sector,” she Muloni.

Buyende Woman MP Mary Annet Nakato expressed concerns over political willingness to prioritise the health sector. She was pessimistic that it would take a while and some convincing for that to happen.

She also raised concern over the low earning of medical doctors and other medical officers in the country. She said that it was unfortunate that a medical intern in Kenya gets paid more than a doctor employed by the government.

Ntweetwe county MP, Joel Ssebikaali said that the COVID19 pandemic had exposed the challenges in the Health sector. He was concerned that despite the COVID19 pandemic, the Government had implemented but cut against the Health Sector.

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