The Permanent Secretary (PS) of Ministry of Health, Dr. Diana Atwine, has said that they are struggling to attract qualified medical staff in medical facilities spread across the country despite persistent advertising and call for applications from suited Ugandans.
Dr. Atwine, speaking to Business Focus in an exclusive interview, explained that this unattractiveness has led to understaffing at the ministry headquarters and other hospitals and that it remains a big challenge.
She said this understaffing is hampering service delivery at the ministry and health centers.
"In addition, underfunding of the ministry has also proved a big challenge with some facilities lacking the necessary equipment and increased utility bills such as power and water that slow work.
"Unfulfilled Financial commitments, especially of counterpart funding of big projects, has led to skyrocketing interests’ accumulation and in some instances has led to litigation that has made the government pay heavily.
"Waste management, stalling of works and low absorption in externally funded projects (stringent requirements in some projects put up by funders like the World Bank causing slow disbursement), continue to plague the ministry," Dr. Atwine told Business Focus.
Asked what they are doing to address these challenges, Dr. Atwine said they are continuing to engage both technical and political leaders of districts to actively participate in health promotion at all levels.
"This will continue until we see improvement. It goes a long way in spreading the message about what we are doing so we can be more accountable to the public.
"We are training more specialists for deployment to our health facilities to cover the big gap. Also at the center, we are undergoing a recruitment process aimed at filling all vacant positions in the new structure that was recently reviewed to cover key technical areas of health services delivery.
Read Full Interview HERE