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Health Ministry budget hasn’t been cut-Minister Aceng

FILE PHOTO: Minister Aceng

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT  | The Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has dismissed claims that the Health Ministry budget for the 2020/2021 has been slashed.

She says claims doing rounds in the media that the health budget for the 2020/2021 financial year budget has been cut to Shs. 1.5 trillion from Shillings 2.5trillion this financial year are misleading.

Aceng noted that she isn’t aware of any budget cuts since they have just received the first budget call circular from government, which isn’t conclusive because it doesn’t contain external funding and other sources like loans.

She disclosed that money from the Global Fund and Gavi are not captured in the Shs 1.5 trillion, adding that the true picture of health sector will end up with will be got when the third budget call circular is issued.

On Sunday, members of civil society held a press conference complaining that the cuts in the social sector that include health will hurt the country since this is where majority of the poor citizens rely.

Julius Mukunda, who heads the Civil Society Budget Advocacy Group (CSBAG) told journalists that while the recurrent expenditure is set to increase by Shs 1 trillion in the new financial year, the development budget is set to reduce by Shs 1.4 trillion.

He also noted that expenditure for social development including health is set to reduce as this ending financial year the health sector got 7.9% of the budget and now falls to 5.1%.

Aceng says these reductions don’t mean that there are services that will be missed since some of those monies budgeted for last year were meant to finance projects like that of refurbishing the Mulago specialized hospital, which has now come to an end.

However, over the years, there have been complaints of government failure to meet its 2001 commitment of the Abuja Declaration where countries agreed to allocate the health sector 15% of their national budgets.

However, Uganda has failed to meet the target more than 15 years later.

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