Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Health Ministry needs to construct an additional 300 health facilities so as to extend quality health care services to all Ugandans.
According to the Health Ministry, there is need to increase the number of General hospitals, health center IVs and IIIs if it is to meet its goal to reduce the distance Ugandans travel to access medical care.
The acting Commissioner for Health Services, George Otim disclosed this while addressing journalists on the state of health care facilities across the country.
Dr. Diana Atwine, the Health Ministry Permanent Secretary, says despite the fact that their plan is to set up a hospital in every district, some districts are too small with a limited population.
According to Dr. Atwine, only four districts including Isingiro, Serere, Namayingo and Amuria currently qualify to have General hospitals. Over 1.3 million people will be able to access services should the ministry construct hospitals in the four districts.
Ugandans will be able to access specialist care for diseases like cancer at HC IIIs, something that isn’t being currently done. To be able to access cancer care currently, patients have to travel to the Uganda Cancer Institute in Kampala.
When asked when monies will be availed for the construction of the hospitals, Dr. Atwine said the ministry is currently over stretched.
“One problem that is affecting us is that we are spread thin. We start one project and we do not consolidate it to make sure that it is completed well before we move on a next one. We want to first focus on what we have and we make it properly functional before we spread thin to other districts,” Dr. Atwine said.
There are 6,937 hospitals across the country including both public and private facilities. 45 percent of the facilities are run by government while 55 percent are run by privately.
Currently the Health ministry is concentrating most construction works on the development of specialized facilities that are supposed to change the face of health care in the country.
Otim says that the construction of the facilities will bring in money push the health sector ahead.
“These hospitals will help provided quality health care to the East African region. People will come to seek treatment here. In the longrun, money from these projects will help bring in funding,” Otim said.