The State Minister of Health in Charge of General Duties Sarah Opendi has blasted doctors for spending more time on WhatsApp than supervising medical facilities under their care.
WhatsApp is a popular social media platform.
Opendi said she is a member of some medics WhatsApp groups and wonders with the time spent in those platforms, when they ever supervise their subordinates.
Opendi was speaking during the launch of a report by the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights on Public Private Partnership Points.
Opendi did not reserve her ire for the medics. She blamed the poor supervision on the limited education background of some office bearers. She said that those who hold political office at district level need to have been educated to least senior four to be literate and appreciate the impact of their positions.
The report noted that Ugandans in up to 39 districts struggle to reach a nearby health facility. The finding was shared in a recent report by the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights on Public Private Partnership Points. The report indicates a glaring lack of coordination at the ministry level which has led to most private hospitals being situated in urban centres.
The report comes at a time when the country is struggling to raise over 1.4 trillion shillings to facilitate the construction of at least 41 hospitals to ensure access to health for all.
According to the Ministry of Health, islands and mountainous districts are most affected.
The National Health Policy recommends that a general hospital should serve a population of 500,000 people. A health centre IV should serve a population size of 100,000 people. A health centre 3 should cater for 20,000 people while a health centre two should manage 5000 people.
Initiative for Social and Economic Rights lead researcher Allana Kembabazi says most patients in these districts seek quick relief in village drug shops for medication. Many of these drug shops are often unlicenced.
The districts without hospitals include Lwengo, Manafwa, Mitooma, Nakapiripirit, Namutumba, Namayingo, Ntoroko, Otuke, Pader, Rubirizi, Serere, Sironko, Kibale, Kakumiro, Rubanda, Omoro, Amuria, Serere and Isingiro.
The Initiative for social and economic rights report showed that the central region has 2,914 health facilities; 672 of which are government aided, 1,927 private for profit and 315 private not for profit.
Northern Uganda has 927 hospitals. Of these, 721 for government, 70 of them private not for profit.
Eastern Uganda has 1,196 health facilities; 721 government aided, 235 private not for profit and 70 of these are privately owned.