MPs approve increased funding to referral hospitals

Legislators have approved recommendations for additional budgetary allocations to hospitals recently upgraded to National and Regional Referral hospitals in the 2019/2020 Financial year.  
Mulago Specialized Women and Neonatal hospital was given a vote status and designated as a national referral hospital, while Kawempe, Kirrudu and Entebbe hospitals have been granted a vote status and upgraded to regional referral status.
In its report on the Sector Ministerial Policy Statement and Budget Estimates for FY 2019/2020, the Committee on Health however observed that budgetary allocation to the facilities is inadequate.
According to the Committee Chairperson, Dr. Michael Bukenya who presented the report during plenary sitting on Tuesday, 30 April 2019, Kiruddu was allocated shs8.7 billion of which shs4.5 billion is for wage while shs4.2 billion is for non-wage, leaving no allocation for development related activities.
“Kawempe has been allocated shs8.7 billion, out of which shs4.5 billion is for wage while shs4.2 billion is projected for non-wage activities, leaving no allocation for development related activities,” added Bukenya.
He also said that Entebbe regional referral hospital has received an allocation of shs0.45 billion for non-wage activities, with no allocation provided for wage and development expenditures.
“The committee recommends that government should allocate an additional shs11.4 billion to Mulago Specialized Women and Neonatal hospital for wage, while Kawempe regional referral hospital should be allocated an additional shs4.5 billion for medicines and an additional shs14.5 billion for wage requirements,” said Bukenya.
He added that government should provide shs5 billion to Kiruddu hospital for dialysis services. It should be noted that Parliament recently passed a resolution to allocate shs7 billion for dialysis services in National Referral hospitals.
Meanwhile, the committee proposed salary enhancement for intern doctors and nurses from a monthly gross salary of shs940,000 to shs1.5 million.
Dr. Bukenya noted that despite repeated calls to increase the allowances of intern doctors by Parliament, Government is yet to prioritize the recommendation well knowing their important role together with the senior house officers in health care for patients.
“The committee recommends that starting FY 2019/2020, Government allocates shs5.6 billion to enhance the intern doctors’ allowance,” said Dr. Bukenya.
He added that the committee in its recommendations reiterated that the Minister of Health fast-tracks the approval of the policy for intern doctors’ training and a Ministry of Health training policy.