Museveni blames civil servants for crippling medical services

Tricycle Village ambulances, also known as Tuk Tuks, line up on Salama-Munyonyo road being taken to Speke Resort Munyonyo to be handed over to government on March 21, 2023. PHOTO/STEPHEN OTAGE

What you need to know:

  • Mr Museveni did not name the corrupt health officers but warned of stringent action to be taken against them.

President Museveni yesterday cited ignorance, corruption, and cultural beliefs as the three major impediments to quality medical care at public health facilities countrywide.

In a speech read on his behalf by the Prime Minister, Ms Robinah Nabbanja, at the handover of village ambulances in Kampala yesterday, the President said the government effort to improve maternal health, provide medical supplies and to improve the quality of care in rural hospitals has, among others, been hampered by corrupt public health officials.

“I wish to extend my warm greetings for the invitation to preside over the donation of the first batch of 50 tricycle village ambulances donated by Rotary International to different village communities across Uganda,” he said.

“It is imperative to note that the three major constraints hindering the success of government health programmes in a way affect maternal health programmes. These include the information gap among rural women, cultural beliefs and corruption by public health officers managing these health facilities,” he added.

Mr Museveni did not name the corrupt health officers but warned of stringent action to be taken against them.

He hailed Rotarians for their humanitarian gesture, which is focusing on giving healthcare services to unprivileged communities.

“I am happy with these interventions in providing maternal and child health services, donation of equipment and supplies to rural communities to improve the quality of care. We have tried to extend health services closer to the people by creating a referral healthcare system of health centre II, III, IV, General Hospitals, Regional Referral Hospitals and National Referral Hospital but it has failed to deliver effective, timely, equitable and people-centred health services to Ugandans,” the President said.

Mr Peace Geofrey Taremwa, the district Governor of Rotary District 9214, said early this year, they donated nine tricycle village ambulances to the districts of Kabarole, Wakiso and Kabale.

He said the ambulances have proved to be sustainable means of transport for pregnant women to access health facilities to deliver.

He added that they are managed by the communities and the riders are trained to provide the services.

Mr Taremwa called upon the Prime Minister to rally Members of Parliament to each buy a village ambulance for their constituencies to ease transportation of pregnant mothers to healthcare facilities.

Ms Nabbanja donated 10 ambulances valued at Shs36m. The state minister for Health in charge of general duties, Ms Hanifa Kawooya, also donated five ambulances valued at Shs.18m

Last year, the Ministry of Health embarked on a programme of restructuring the healthcare delivery system, which they said would transform all health centre IVs across the country into community hospitals. 

Government said with the increasing population and scope of services offered, the government found it necessary to carry out a complete review and restructuring, which will see all the health centre IVs elevated to community hospitals, with permanent pharmacists deployed.


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