With an over 40 trillion budget for the financial year 2019/2020, the health sector has set its targets high this financial year if the country is to maintain a healthy population and improve service delivery.
In an interview with NBS Television, the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr Diana Atwine argues that demanding for a huge share on the national budget should come hand in hand with capital development.
From the just read budget, the ministry of health has 2.5 Trillion with a cut premised on the reduction in gratuity and projects completion.
But Atwine says, “We still have so many unfunded priorities if we look at our ministerial policy statements.”
Dr Diana Atwine says, while the money is not sufficient for the sector, the ministry will prioritize for the good of all Ugandans.
Among these priorities are equipping of the health facilities constructed across the country, access to immunization and disease prevention.
She elaborates, “We are scaling up and ensuring all sub counties have a health center 3, human development, and disease prevention.”
Dr Atwine says non communicable diseases are biting in to the health sector putting a strain on the sector.
A huge chunk of the sector budget is also going to procuring medicines through the National Medical Stores.
She says, “About 358 billion is to be spent on medicines apart from those used to treat HIV, malaria and tuberculosis, this can be reduced if disease prevention is prioritized.”
The ministry this financial year also foresees less strikes as salary increment is catered for with the wage bill at 426 Billion.
Dr Atwine however promised stricter supervision of health workers.
She emphasises, “It’s not about coming at work and you go away, all people will be evaluated on output. We are putting in place a human resource system for result based assessment and performance management. You must be on duty at the agreed upon time, we want to get people accountable.”
The ministry has also defended itself on the continuous unspent allocations, blaming it on bureaucracy.
She says, “I was given money for the payroll along the way we had a slow process of attracting specialists and this money has to be taken back, its not like I was inefficient, the purpose for which I was given the money didn’t happen, it rather goes back than stealing it.”