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Gulu leaders want gov’t to increase funding to Lacor hospital

Gulu District Task Force for Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) during a meeting – Photo by Dominic Ochola

Gulu, Uganda |  THE INDEPENDENT |  Leaders in Gulu District have asked the Government to increase funding to St. Mary’s Hospital Lacor. 

The leaders argue the hospital is overwhelmed in offering comprehensive healthcare services among which includes physiotherapy, training healthcare workers and promoting health researches in Northern Uganda. 

The hospital depends on 60 per cent donor funds. It gets an annual 10 per cent of primary health conditional grants from government and raises 20 per cent of its budget from patients to meet staff salaries; drugs, utilities and other administrative costs.

Dr Emintone Odong, the hospital’s Medical Director said the hospital employs over 700 employees. The budget for the hospital for 2017/18 financial year was 19 billion shillings but it increased up to 22 billion shillings in the financial year 2019/2020.

Over 600 patients visit the facility’s Out Patients’ Department – OPD; 100 admissions and conducts at least 20 surgeries as well as 24 deliveries daily. The influx of patients is being handled by only 33 qualified doctors who include 18 specialists, consultants and 15 medical officers.

Dr Felix Kaducu, the Dean Faculty of Medicine at Gulu University notes that while Government focuses on the expansion of Gulu Regional Referral Hospital, Lacor hospital should be considered too. 

Martin Ojara Mapenduzi, the Gulu LCV Chairperson, says that they have made a formal request to Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, the Minister of Health to consider extending financial support to the facility.

The hospital attracts patients from South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo – DRC.

It was founded by the Comboni Missionaries in 1959 as a 30-bed capacity hospital, by July 2015 it had over 485 beds. The hospital is also home to a nursing school offering numerous health worker training programs.   

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