The mushrooming number of unregistered health workers operating in Eastern Region is worrying the Allied Health Professional Council.
Henry Kumbaine, the council’s Eastern Regional supervisor, says their recent survey in the region indicates that majority of health practitioners operate without practicing license.
He says by mid last year, of the 48 health workers in Busia district who are registered with the council only four had renewed their practicing licenses, while in Sironko district only 8 of the 78 health workers had registered.
In Manafwa 28 of the 122 health workers are registered while in Mbale only 29 of the 69 registered health workers have licenses.
In Kibuku district, the number stands at 12 of 53 health workers while Bulambuli has the highest number of fully registered health workers at 29 of 38 who are registered with the Allied Health Professional Council.
Health workers registered and supervised by the Allied Health Professional Council include clinical officers, Health Inspectors, Anesthetic clinical officers, Environment health officers, health assistants, Medical laboratory assistants and Radiographers among others.
The council was established by an Act of Parliament in 1996, with a mission to regulate, supervise, control and enforce standards of training and practice, training and education of Allied Health Professionals in order to effectively contribute to a health productive life of Ugandans.
Kumbaine is concerned that failure by professionals to register is allowing infiltration of quacks into the sector hence putting lives of the public at risk. He says some quack doctors have taken advantage of the anomaly to extort money from the public.
He says this has compromised the quality of health service delivery to the clients.
Mpiima Kibirango, the council’s registrar says they will start an impromptu operation to safeguard the profession that is under threat due to the invasion by unqualified people.
He says they have found out that several medical institutions and clinics have recruited unqualified staffs in breach of the law, something they want to improve.
He notes that they have registered cases of deaths of innocent people at the hands of unqualified health workers.
Kibirango says the council will also tighten its supervisory roles on the health training institutions following concerns over the quality of graduates from many of the institutions.
He revealed that the council will consider re-assessing fresh graduates before awarding them with practicing licenses.
Each private medical institution is required to pay 250,000 shillings annually for an operational license upon assessment and subsequent approval while individuals pay 150,000 shillings annually.