MPs advocate for robust funding for national healthcare

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Members of Parliament on the Budget Committee have called for government commitment in providing sufficient funding to the Ministry of Health.

Bukanga County Member of Parliament, Hon. Stephen Kangwagye  emphasized the need to prioritise funding for the procurement of testing kits in health centres across the country.

He observed that poor diagnosis of non-communicable diseases at health centres in rural areas has inevitably increased the pressure of patient numbers at the regional referral hospitals.
“Someone may be suffering from malaria or headache but because they do not know exactly what is bothering them, the condition escalates. Diseases are now escalating because of self-medication vis a vis poor diagnosis,” Kangwagye said.

AUDIO Kangwagye

He said this in response to a report by the Committee on Health on the National Budget Framework Paper for Financial Year 2024/2025.

Committee Chairperson, Hon. Charles Ayume, presented the report before the Budget Committee on Wednesday, 17 January 2024.

Ayume noted that although most non-communicable diseases can be detected in lower level health facilities, most of them lack basic diagnostic equipment to detect such diseases.

He added that the committee had previously recommended provision of Shs4 billion in Financial Year 2023/2024 for the purpose, which was not provided.
“The committee reiterates its earlier recommendation that an additional Shs4 billion be provided to National Medical Stores for procurement of glucometers, BP machines and thermometers for 3000 health centres across the country,” Ayume said.

He added thatShs25 billion for procurement of rapid diagnostic kits for malaria, HIV and other diseases be provided.

MPs also welcomed the recommendation to avail additional funding in the budget for Ministry of Health, to establish four regional cardiac centres.

The Health Committee brought forward a recommendation for additional funding worth Shs51 billion to be provided in a phased manner, to set up the centres in Jinja, Mbarara, Masaka and Gulu.

Ayume noted that following Parliament’s passing of a US$70 million loan to construct a state-of-the-art 250-bed heart hospital in Naguru, signing of the financing agreement for the construction has been concluded by all three funders of the project.
“Construction works will commence upon procurement of a contractor. Uganda Heart Institute continues to offer services at Mulago Hospital, and these regional centres will boost access to heart services,” Ayume said.


Hon. Elijah Okupa (Indep., Kasilo County) said there is need for regional balance when establishing the heart centres.
“You have mentioned areas like Jinja and Mbarara but we must also make a provision for areas like Mbale, Soroti, Arua, Hoima and Fort Portal among others. Such areas are very far and need the services there,” he said.

Source:Parliament Of Uganda

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