Kampala | RedPepper Digital – Improved revenue collection and propionate budgetary allocation will spur the improved services in the health sector in the county; this is according to Uganda Revenue Authority (URA) Commissioner-General John R. Musinguzi.
“We want to collect more money for the national treasury so that a lot of these needs can be met. So that the medical staff can be remunerated appropriately, and it is possible only if we mobilized enough resources so that once it comes into the n treasury, our leaders in parliament will appropriate it to make sure that all essential workers who do a lot of sacrifices get something that is commiserated to their effort but also equipped appropriately with the equipments they need and the human resources are enhanced to be equal to the workload at hand,” he said.
Musinguzi made these remarks last Friday 10th September while making a donation of an assortment of hospital equipment including 20 admission cots, a 200-seater tent, and 150 plastic chairs all worth about UGX50 million at the China-Uganda Friendship hospital as part of the corporate social responsibility (CSR) to mark 30 years of being the tax ombudsman of the nation.
In addition, the Authority will also donate a motorboat to Bwama primary school in Kabale district to ease the movement of school-going children across Lake Bunyonyi as the reopening of school looms.
Musinguzi further said that URA staff and health practitioners in the country equally do a thankless job and face similar challenges that rotate around financial resources as he added on: “We have a very challenging task of mobilizing every penny so that we put it in the treasury and our nation can develop.”
He said that the reason they chose Naguru hospital as their first stop is that it deserves special recognition because of the nature of services it offers, and the kinds of patients they take on also being a neighbour to the Authority, it was only befitting, as he added: “We are in the season celebrating our 30 years of existence as URA. URA was established on September 15th 1991. As part of the many activities to celebrate that milestone of30 years and the contributions together with the taxpayers we have been able to make on the front of revenue mobilization, we thought of Naguru as one of the most befitting where we can visit and do a corporate social responsibility which we started by cleaning the hospital and also share with them some gifts to show our appreciation to this team at this hospital but also to the entire medical professionals in this country for the significant role they play in making our lives and country better,” he said when asked on the reason why they chose Naguru as their choice Hospital.
The sticky issue of the USD5 per kilogram tax on imported textile following an outcry by traders, the Commissioner general also acknowledged receiving the letter from the Finance Minister Matia Kasaija halting its imposition on the same day (Friday)
Dr. Emmanuel Batiibwe; the Naguru hospital executive director lauded URA for the contribution they made to the hospital.
Dr. Batiibwe also noted that despite the resource challenges that the hospital grapples with they still continue to serve the nation, and they are now morphing into the National referral hospital status. “We are rapidly growing into a national referral hospital. We are taking on trauma and emergency at a national level and we shall coordinate these services in the country so as to avail the service which many of you need when you have landed in accidents for example through the emergency medical services department in the ministry of health with the full backing of the ministerial team, and the government of Uganda,” he said.
Dr Batiibwe further said that the hospital which started as a health centre III that was later elevated to the level of fully-fledged regional referral hospital through a USD8m from the Chinese government in 2012 that has ever since helped to decongest Mulago national referral hospital.
He also noted that the 100-seater bed hospital managed COVID-19 5,788 patients since the onset of the pandemic and rallied the public to continue to adhere to the SOPs in place.
He also hinted at a third wave of the pandemic and said that the hospital acquired an oxygen plant during the second wave which is well equipped to handle emergencies.
“Since we are expecting a third wave of Covid, we still need more additional logistical support especially personal protective equipment (PPE) including overalls, masks, and medicines, support for specialist doctors and nurses who are going to be manning our intensive care unit centres,” he said
According to Dr, Batiibwe, there is need for expansion of the hospital due to the challenge of overcrowding as they currently operate at 110% capacity with limited space for both inpatient and outpatient cases.