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Ex-Health minister decries poor recruitment
Publish Date: Jun 12, 2011
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By Vision reporter

THE outgoing minister for health, Dr. Stephen Mallinga, has said recruitment of health workers should never have been decentralised.

Mallinga explained that decentralising the process had created a countrywide imbalance in the distribution of health workers.

He said under decentralisation, districts were placed in charge of recruitment of health workers. However, some districts advertise to recruit doctors and receive no applicants.

“I feel health should never have been decentralised. This only created different health systems for every district and enhanced tribalism. Everybody gets appointed in the district where they come from to provide health care. Some areas don’t have nurses or doctors,” Mallinga said.

“I come from Pallisa. But I don’t know how many times they have advertised and people don’t respond,” Mallinga said.
He said if the health system was centralised, medics would be recruited, sign memoranda with the Government and be posted up country with housing and timely salaries.

“This would create a spirit of nationalism and we would be able to work all over Uganda in spite of where we originate,” Mallinga said.

He also said the country runs the risk of having a shortage of specialist doctors because the Government sponsors a few medical students at postgraduate level.

Mallinga said of the 300 senior in-house officers at Mulago, only 30 are sponsored by the Government.

Mallinga, who was appointed minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, was on Friday handing over to the new health minister, Dr. Christine Ondoa-Onama, at the Ministry of Health boardroom.
He said during the 1970s, Uganda’s health system was one of the best in sub-Saharan Africa.

However, it collapsed with the political turmoil and measures taken have negatively impacted health service delivery.

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