By Nasser Kasozi Akandwanaho
The Leader of the Opposition in Parliament, Hon Mathias Mpuuga has advised the government to increase budget allocations towards the health sector.
Presiding over at fundraising for Kyambala Health Centre III in Bukulula sub county, Kalungu district, Mpuuga took note of the challenges dogging the government health facilities.
“Most of the new districts lack hospitals, the only government facility you can find is a health centre III which is are also ill-equipped leaving our people to trek long distances to access the services from private providers,” Mpuuga said.
According to the national healthcare system, each district has to have a general hospital but many of the districts, due to inadequate funding, have failed to have their health centres upgraded to hospital status.
A case in point is Kalungu district which still runs a health centre IV, 11 years since its creation in 2010.
“I am aware Kalungu has a lot of challenges,” Mpuuga said, “Kalungu health centre IV lacks a medical officer implying that it can’t offer most of the services expected of a health facility at that level. So, patients have to go to Villa Maria hospital, which is privately owned.”
To bridge the gap, Mpuuga suggested that the government should enter into partnerships with private players in the sector.
“This is one of the issues we intend to tackle as per our legislative agenda. Since the private hospitals serve the same population, government needs to support them by providing medical supplies and other incentives because the private players have been able to maintain presence where the government has failed,” Mpuuga said.
Besides providing medical supplies, Mpuuga also wants the government to second qualified doctors to privately owned health facilities to subsidise the cost of doing business.
Mpuuga contributed Shs 5 million to equip the children’s ward while MPs, Christine Nandagire Ndiwalana (NUP, Bukomansimbi North), Veronica Nanyondo (NUP, Bukomansimbi Woman) and the area MP, Francis Katongole Katabaazi (Kalungu East) contributed a total of Shs 4 million.
Kyambala Health Centre III was constructed by the Catholic Church to respond to the health needs of the community upon a realisation that the government owned Bukulula Health Centre III could not swiftly respond to health emergencies in the area.
Since it opened to the public on 22nd September, 2021, it has handled over 240 cases including admissions, according to the former Kalungu East MP, Mukiibi Sserunjogi.
The Bukulula Catholic Parish Priest, Rev Fr Aloysious Kamulegeya said, they need more than Shs 127.3 million to equip the facility.