Members of Parliament with ambulances in their constituencies have expressed the willingness to surrender them to government to evacuate suspected Covid-19 cases.
This comes after government reported a shortage of ambulances in the face of a shutdown on public transport.
The Health permanent secretary, Dr Diana Atwine, recently wrote to Parliament asking MPs to surrender their ambulances.
“Due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 in Uganda, the Ministry Of Health requests MPs through your office to avail their ambulances stationed in the different constituencies across the country to supplement government efforts tracing and evacuating suspected cases to nearest treatment centres,” Dr Atwine wrote in a March 26 letter.
Government has about 200 ambulances some of which are grounded.
Mr James Tukahirwa, the chief transport officer at the Ministry of Works and Transport told Daily Monitor that many MPs had welcomed the call.
“I have been contacted by more than 70 members and they are positive but their support is in the districts and areas where they are,” he said.
Under the arrangement, government will meet operational costs of the ambulances, including fuel, general repair as well as drivers’ allowances.
“The district health officers have been provided with adequate resources to beef up the fight on corona virus. Fuel allowances to drivers and any other thing that the health office deems necessary in their own judgement,” Mr Tukahirwa said.
More than 90 lawmakers own ambulances.
What they say
Peter Ogwang (Usuk, NRM): “That is not bad because at the moment we are dealing with an emergency. It is a good initiative the ambulances have been helping communities to support government services.”
Michael Kabaziguruka (Nakawa, FDC): “Even before the request came through, my ambulance was fully to the government use. I have been handling the operational costs so if the ministry is coming in to handle the operational costs, I welcome it.”
Francis Mwijukye (Buhweju, FDC): “I have handed over mine already. What we are involved in is a concerted effort towards helping government.”