MPs plead against cuts to health budget 

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Shamim Nabakooza 

The Health Committee of Parliament has urged parliament reverse the proposed budget cuts in the health program for the financial year 2023/24 in order to facilitate service delivery of health facilities across the country. 

The budget framework for the health program reduced by  shillings 430.1billion has left legislators worried of the consequences 

The health programme has been operating under a budget of of shillings 3.670trillion this running financial year. 

In the 2023/24 national budget framework paper, health will only receive shillings 3.240trillion. 

The most affected parts of the health budget are infrastructural development to Regional Referral Hospitals by shillings 23.8billion and non wage budget by shillings 75.4billion.

While presenting the the Health Committee Report on the health sector budget to the House's Budget committee for reconsiderations, Dr. Charles Ayume the chairperson of the Health committee urged parliament to reverse budget cuts if the health sector is to remain fully operational.

Committee members observed with concern that that while budget cuts have cut across all programs for the next financial year, it is suicidal to allow the health sector suffer the the wrath of the finance sword.

The Health Committee has also recommended additional funding of the National Medical Stores by shillings 87 billion to mitigate the dwindling funding of development partners. NMS is suffering funding shortfalls for laboratory reagents, ARVs anti malarials, TB medicines, and immunisation supplies among others.

The committee also suggested an additional shillings 2.9 billion for the General Military Hospital to mitigate gaps in health supplies caused by the Operation Shujaa which Uganda launched against ADF rebels in Democratic Republic of Congo.

Other key priorities highlighted by the health committee is operationalization of the National Ambulance System which requires funding of shillings 73billion. 

Others are provision of primary health care which is grappling with a funding gap of shillings 24.7billion, funding of hospitals equipments with a shortfall of shillings 24.1billion, lack of Critical Human Resource with a funding gap of shillings 21.7billion, blood collection and mobilization facilities which has suffered a budget cut of shillings 2billion among others.

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