The Ministry of Health has acquired 100 million US Dollars to renovate five hospitals in the country.
The hospitals to be renovated include Kitagata, Yumbe, Abim, Busolwe hospitals and Uganda Cancer Institute at Mulago hospital. However, it is not yet clear when the renovation will start off.
Asuman Lukwago, the permanent secretary ministry of health acknowledges the poor condition in which the above health facilities are in and the fact that the old structures need to be renovated.
Currently all district hospitals around the country get 140 million shillings annually as development fund to cater for all their needs. This is much less compared to the referral hospitals that get four billion shillings annually.
Sam Lyomoki, the chairperson of the Health Committee of Parliament recently on a tour in Sheema district recommended the closure of Kitagata hospital due to its dilapidated state.
The legislators discovered that health workers use well and borehole water in the theatre using jerricans and that the hospital’s sewage system broke down several years ago.
Patients not only walk out of the hospital to answer nature’s call but lie on mattresses that are infested with maggots.
It is for this reason that Lyomoki is seeking to push for the inclusion of 16 billion shillings as part of the 330 billion supplementary budget being discussed on Tuesday this week by the budget committee.
Lyomoki is convinced the chunk of the money that mainly goes to State House, security and defence is not a priority compared to the health needs of most Ugandans.
The money was requested for by the National Medical Stores in the financial year 2011/2012 to buy equipment such as mattresses and beds for all general hospitals.
The health ministry’s overall budget for the financial year 2013/2014 comes to a total of 932.25 billion shillings. This includes 259 billion shillings from donors and 673.2 billion from government.
State Minister for primary health care Sarah Opendi identifies the underfunded areas such as wages for staff in regional referral hospitals at 2.5 billion shillings and renovation of ministry of health headquarters at 1.5 billion shillings.
With the exception of medical officers at health centres four, there have been no funds allocated for wage enhancement of other health workers which would cost 1.29 billion shillings.
Among other focus areas for this financial year for the ministry is to enhance blood collection under the blood transfusion services, and control and increase preparedness for disease outbreak including surveillance.