The Ministry of Health has enlisted Parliament’s support in solving the healthcare problems facing the country.
In a statement made to Parliament on the state of healthcare service delivery in Uganda and its budgetary implications, the health minister, Dr Jane Ruth Aceng said that increased financial allocation to the Ministry of Health will solve most of the sector’s problems.
She listed ten challenges that she said continue to affect the healthcare system in Uganda including the rising number of local Governments which has increased pressure on already established health facilities, the dilapidated health infrastructure that requires refurbishment and re-equipping and inadequate medical equipment at many health care units.
Aceng added that the lack of state of the art imaging equipment, the lack of hospitals in many constituencies, inadequate staffing and a weak community health workers extension system as some of the key challenges that require immediate attention.
The Minister informed the House that the lack of adequate funding had seriously impaired the Ministry’s capacity to deal with the COVID19 pandemic.
She was concerned that all epidemics in the country are always managed through requests for supplementary funding which has a lengthy process and impairs timely planning.
She called for the establishment of a specially dedicated fund to finance response to epidemics.
Aceng further said that Sh20.7b had been allocated to 15 referral hospitals and Bombo Military Hospital for procurement of CT scans, and in the meantime, the ministry is assessing the infrastructure for the installation of the scans.
The Minister also reported that her ministry is to renovate and equip 17 general hospitals, with the overall estimated cost of Sh410b.
She said that this would be conducted in a phased manner based on the availability of resources.
The Statement follows concerns raised by MPs about the lack of health facilities in different parts of Uganda, which they said that the ones available are not adequately equipped with medicines.
Bukoto County East MP, Ronald Evans Kanyike promised to support any budgetary increase to the Health Sector, however, asked the Minister equally for the same in the Cabinet.
He also pointed out the lack of political will towards concerns raised by the Minister. He said that the solution lies with political goodwill as far as budget allocation.
UPDF Representative in Parliament, Hon Charity Bainababo called for more support to army hospitals because of their integral part of the healthcare.
She appealed to the Ministry of Health to upgrade some of the army hospitals to the status of a health district so that they can get support for some of the funding that comes along with the said statutes.
Aruu North MP, Santa Okot raised concern over the limited attention given to the plague of nodding syndrome which has greatly affected several districts in Northern Uganda.
He was equally concerned that to date, there has not been a clear diagnosis of what the disease is and its causes.
He reported that there are about 5,000 children in Pader, Kitgum and possibly Omoro, who are going to perish because of that disease if measures are not put in place to address the matter.