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Mukono Municipality declines to handover hospital to district

FILE PHOTO: Tension at Mukono hospital between Municipal and District officials.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Mukono municipal council has passed a resolution supporting the decision of their executive rejecting the transfer of Mukono hospital management to the district.

The decision was made after Mukono Mayor; George Fred Kagimu read a letter from the Health Ministry, Permanent Secretary, Dr Diana Atwiine directing the municipality to hand over management of the hospital to the district.

The letter was in response to another written by the municipality to Dr Atwine seeking guidance about the management of the hospital because of a dispute over its management by the two administrative units.

In her December 12, 2019 letter, Dr Atwine said under the Health Ministry policy, General Hospitals serve as referral facilities for the population beyond the lower local government where they are located.

“Therefore upon upgrading Mukono HC IV to a general hospital status, administrative and management responsibility of the hospital, which is a public facility, should be transferred to Mukono district local government…I, therefore, urge Mukono municipality leadership to collaborate with Mukono district local government and ensure the transfer of the newly designated general hospital including the staff under the management of the district,” Dr Atwiine wrote.

The decision didn’t go down well with the municipal authorities led by the mayor. On Monday, the 29 Mukono municipal unanimously voted in favour of the Mayor’s proposal rejecting the transfer of the hospital to the district. Ben Muwonge, the representative of Kyampisi ward who seconded the motion proposed that they petition the Local Government minister as well as the PS to reconsider her directive.

“Once it is taken away from the municipal’s care it may distort service delivery, I am therefore of a view that instead of transferring responsibilities, let the facility remain a health centre IV,” he said.

Peter Nsamba, another councillor notes that CAP 243 of the Local Government Act grants municipalities and other urban administrative units control over government institutions including hospitals.

Sylvia Kiwuka Nsimbe, the Speaker Mukono Municipality, said they are glad that the municipal executive has responded to the PS with a council resolution.

The Health Ministry Spokesperson, Emmanuel Ainebyona notes that the municipality is free to make a response over any matter and the ministry will be glad to receive it.

“The ministry has always guided and with any resolution the municipality makes, the ministry shall continue guiding as well as arriving at a good conclusion where there is a disagreement,” Ainebyona noted.

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