Cabinet has approved to retain Kawempe, Naguru and Kiruddu Hospitals as semi-autonomous Referral Hospitals under the Ministry of Health.
The decision was taken during a cabinet meeting held on Monday April 30 at Entebbe State House. Frank Tumwebaze, the cabinet spokesperson also the ICT and National Guidance Minister told Journalists on Wednesday in Kampala.
This means that the number of Regional Referral Hospitals (RRHs) has increased from 14 to 17 in the whole country in addition to two National Referral Hospitals Mulago and Butabika.
The three hospitals are among the ten health facilities that have been under the Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) in its five divisions.
Cabinet argues that retaining the three hospitals will bridge the patient referral gap between lower level health facilities and Mulago specialized hospital, thus imporving health services delivery within Kampala City.
They say that the decision will also lead to the strengthening of the professional medical training capacity for Makerere University College of Health sciences and provide additional centres for training medical interns.
“Retaining the three facilities as refferals will make them have semi autonomous status that enables them to expedite implementation of management decisions, carry out their own procurement and improve quality of services while reporting directly to the Ministry of Health on technical and financial issues,” a statement from cabinet reads in part.
“It will also enable facilities to raise alternative revenues such as Non Tax Revenue (NTR) in addition to being allocated funds for wage , non wage, recurrent and development obligations,” the statement continues.
In 2013, the Uganda government obtained a loan from the African Development Bank and the Nigeria Trust Fund to rehabilitate and improve Mulago Hospital, construct Kawempe General Referral Hospital, construct Kiruddu General Hospital, and re-organize healthcare delivery in Kampala.
This was with a view of shifting some of the patient burden to the Naguru General Hospital, Kawempe General Hospital, and Kiruddu General Hospital. Mulago is hoped to be reserved for the role for which it was constructed; as a referral hospital, serving patients referred to it by other health facilities, and not handling common colds and uncomplicated ear infections.
Mulago signed a memorandum of understanding with KCCA to manage the Kiruddu and Kawempe hospitals as renovations are ongoing at Lower Mulago.
This was a temporary arrangement and it was hopped that the units would be relocated back to Mulago once the renovations are complete.
Kawempe General Hospital, has been acting as Mulago’s gynecology and obstetrics department, Kiruddu on Buziga Hill, Makindye Division and China Friendship Hospital in Naguru as centres for those with hypertension, thyroid, chest complications, and diabetes as well as patients with heart problems, sexually transmitted diseases, brain diseases, lung problems and among others.