Shortage of doctors cripples Apac Hospital

Saturday April 11 2015

By Geoffrey Omara


Apac Hospital administrators have appealed to government for more doctors, saying absence of adequate staff is crippling service delivery at the facility.

The hospital that should have eight medical doctors, currently has only three medical doctors. The facility serves at least 300 patients daily.

Apac Hospital administrator Patrick Okol told Saturday Monitor in an interview on Wednesday that they have tried to lobby the district to get the required number of doctors in vain.

“We want the government to consider this as a serious matter because without the required numbers of medical doctors, attending to patients becomes a challenge, meaning patients in the region will have to seek medical treatment elsewhere at a heavy cost,” says Mr Okol.

Mr Okol explained that despite the inadequate staff, the hospital also does not have a good accommodation, which delays even the few medical personnel from attending to patients since they travel long distances every morning.

“We need to look into the issue of accommodation for doctors to ease their work and render better services to the people,” he said.

The Apac District health officer, Dr Mathew Emer, urged the government to address the shortage of doctors as a matter of urgency.
“At the moment, we have only 78 per cent of the medical experts in the health facility. We are short of 22 per cent and this big figure is affecting service delivery in the district,” Dr Emer said.

He said the government should lift the ban on recruitment of medical personnel at government hospitals to enable the hospital resolve the shortage of doctors.

Ms Rukia Nakamatte, the Ministry of Health spokesperson, acknowledged the dire situation of the facility, saying the ministry is working to improve the situation.

“We are aware of the situation there and we are in the process of recruitment for such health facilities. Next month there will be an advert that will cover it,” Ms Nakamatte said.