By Juliet Kigongo
The proportion of trained health workers across the country has stagnated at 56 per cent for the last two years, a situation that has affected the efficiency of the sector, the health minister has said.
Dr Christine Ondoa, while speaking at the eighth National Health Assembly and 17th Joint Review Mission in Kampala yesterday, said:” Efforts to ensure attainment and maintenance of an adequate, equitably distributed and appropriately skilled workforce were hampered by recruitment as a result of a limited wage bill.”
The health minister said support is needed from Parliament to increase funding for recruitment of health workers to fill the gaps in district hospitals. “This is on top of the Shs2.2 billion we allocated for contracting graduate interns. Discussions are also on-going to decentralise health workers, which will be advantageous as far as recruitment, supervision, mentoring and discipline of the health workers is concerned,” Dr Ondoa said.
According to the minister, the Health Sector Strategic and Investment Plan report for the financial year 2010/11 had varied performance in the health services coverage.
She noted that the proportion of households living within walking distances to health facilities is currently estimated at 72 per cent. Adding that availability of medicines and health supplies in health facilities has also improved by almost 70 per cent due to adherence to delivery schedules and an increased funding.
Dr Ondoa cited improving the image of the health sector, efficiency, supervision and monitoring as well as funding as the ministry’s focus to better service delivery.