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Hospitals Demand More Medicine Amid Government Renovation Efforts

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Primary health care state minister Margaret Muhanga during plenary on Tuesday
PHOTO — Parliament of Uganda Portal


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Public hospitals in Butaleja, Buikwe, and Jinja are urging the government to augment medical supplies by at least 50% in response to recent renovation and expansion projects funded by the government and its partners. The management of health facilities and district officials in these areas have voiced concerns over the inadequacy of current drug quantities and staffing shortages, highlighting the need for improvements to enhance patient satisfaction.

Dr. Joshua Kiberu, the medical superintendent at Kawolo Hospital in Buikwe, expressed apprehension over the insufficient drug allocations, which stand at Shs92 million per cycle. He emphasized that the current supply levels, coupled with delayed deliveries, compromise access to healthcare services, particularly emergency care. With the hospital predominantly handling emergency cases, the overwhelming demand for services necessitates an increase in drug supplies.

Echoing Dr. Kiberu’s sentiments, Dr. Richard Bbosa, the District Health Officer of Buikwe, stressed the need for a 50% augmentation in drug supplies to adequately cater to patient needs. He highlighted the challenges posed by the current supply levels, emphasizing the importance of timely and sufficient medication provision to ensure effective healthcare delivery.

Kawolo Hospital, situated along the Kampala-Jinja highway, serves as a critical healthcare facility, particularly for victims of road accidents. Following the renovation of hospital structures four years ago, the facility has witnessed an influx of patients not only from Buikwe but also from neighboring districts such as Mukono and Buvuma. Despite being designed to serve a population of around 500,000, Buikwe District’s estimated population of 400,000 underscores the pressing need for enhanced healthcare provisions.

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The recent renovation of staff accommodation at Kawolo Hospital, totaling Shs3 billion, has been lauded as a positive development by Dr. Kiberu, citing its potential to boost staff morale and improve service delivery. However, he reiterated the importance of addressing critical issues such as drug supply, staffing, and operational budget allocations to further enhance healthcare services.

The challenges pertaining to drug shortages are not isolated to Kawolo Hospital. Bunyole West MP, Mr. Geoffrey Mutiwa, highlighted similar struggles faced by patients in facilities like Busolwe in Butaleja District. Despite significant investment in renovation projects, concerns persist regarding medication availability and accessibility, necessitating swift action from the government.

In response to these concerns, Mr. Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the spokesperson of the Health Ministry, acknowledged the need for heightened monitoring and oversight to ensure efficient drug delivery. While appreciating the government’s efforts in refurbishing hospitals, he assured that the ministry would address the issues raised by healthcare leaders to improve service delivery.

Additionally, Ms. Margaret Muhanga, the State Minister for Primary Health Care, emphasized the importance of health workers’ dedication and punctuality. She urged healthcare professionals to maximize their efforts, highlighting the government’s commitment to enhancing salaries and the overall healthcare system.

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