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Aid cuts affect 6,000 health workers

By Joan Akello

Government has failed to release 6.5 billion shillings for the recruitment of 6,172 health workers. This is attributed to problems in budget cash flow caused by the suspension of donor aid.

This was disclosed by the minister of state for Finance Fred Omach (general duties) while appearing before the Health committee chaired by the workers Member of Parliament Dr. Sam Lyomoki.

Dr. Christine Ondoa health minister and the Director General of Health Services, Dr. Ruth Achieng gave a report to the committee on the release of the Sh6.5b and the recruitment progress

Omach attributed the delay in releasing money to the suspension of donor funds to government because of the office of the prime minister scam.

The angry MPs told the ministry of finance officials to release the money for the recruitment of health workers since parliament approved the health budget.

Lyomoki warned the officials saying, “You appear to be callous to the people of Uganda. This money must be released without further delay. On Tuesday, if you do not release the money we shall invoke the constitution to impose sanctions against you.”

MPs have directed the ministry to make a report to the committee next week with evidence of funds it has released to the health sector.

The workers for recruitment include senior medical officers, medical officers, senior clinical officers, clinical officers, anaesthetic assistants, enrolled nurses, enrolled midwives, laboratory technicians and assistants, nursing officers and midwives.

Government in the financial year 2012/13 promised a supplementary budget of 49.5 billion shillings as additional funds to boost the health sector budget to a total of Shs 800billion.

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