Ministry of Health officials and members of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, in partnership with Malteser International, a worldwide humanitarian relief agency of the Malta, met in Kampala on Tuesday and called for speedy approval of the National Emergency Medical Services Policy.
It is hoped that the policy, which is still in draft form, will address various emergency health services challenges Uganda faces today.
Dr Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary in the ministry of Health said once the policy is approved, her ministry will be in a position to save lives of patients, who die due to lack of adequate emergency services across many health facilities across the country. She said emergency health services are critical but faces challenges of funding.
“Once the policy is passed, it will change many things. We are losing many people when they would not die if the emergency medical services, such as Ambulances were readily available,” she said.
Adisa Hosana, Malteser International country director, said their organisation took part in the assessment of the emergency health services together with the Ministry of Health, in which an initial funding of €1.6 million was injected in the project budget.
“Malteser International has been operating in Uganda for the last 25 years, where our focus is on Emergency Health provision and assisting of vulnerable groups”, he said.
MPs tasked the ministry of Health officials to explain sources of funding, once the policy is approved and why implementation of the various health projects has always been derailed.
In response, Dr John Baptist Waniaye, the commissioner for Emergency Medical Services in the Ministry of Health, said the funding for emergency medical services is included in the FY2020/21 budget.
“In addition, the NRM manifesto clearly indicates their commitment to prioritising health service provision in the country”, he said.