By Paul Kiwuuwa
GOVERNMENT is to recruit 3,000 health workers in the next financial year to improve health service delivery in the country, the state minister for health Dr. Chris Baryomunsi has said.
"In the next financial year 2015/2016, government plans to recruit an additional 3,000 health workers. These include; anesthetists, medical doctors, nurses, midwives and surgeons, targeting critical cadres to offer maternal and child health, anesthetists’ services in health centers III and IV countrywide." Baryomunsi added.
He explained that in 2013 government advertised for 10, 231 vacancies but got 7,200 applications leaving a shortage of over 3,000 workers.
Baryomunsi was appearing before the House committee on health to present the ministry's budget estimates for the next fiscal year.
He pointed out that most medics in Uganda shun the anesthetists’ professional because they are underpaid. However, he did not disclose what the anesthetists earn.
"Uganda has few anesthesiologists, government needs to consider raising their pay, or they will search for greener pastures in other countries." he said.
An anesthesiologist is responsible for the preoperative assessment of the patient, an evaluation process that carefully considers both the patient's current state of health and the planned surgical procedure that allows physician to make judgments about the safest anesthesia plan for each individual patient.
In the next fiscal yaer, the health ministry has been allocated sh519b, the National Medical Stores sh218.b, while district primary health was allocated sh293b among other sectors.
Omona said depending on the availability of the funds, government may fund the health sector more but after funding the propriety areas.
Health minister Dr. Elioda Tumwesigye said government also plans to construct a specialized maternal and neonatal unit at Mulago Hospital at a cost of $24m (about sh72b) funded by the International Development Bank.
Construction is expected to commence in May 2015.
Tumwesigye revealed that government in the next financial year plans to rehabilitate 20 referral hospitals that include: Adjuman, Kitgum, Kabarole, Kiboga, Kapchorwa, Kamwenge, Paluisa, Itojo, Kitagata, Bugiri, Atutur , Apac, Abim, Bundibugyo, Kaberamaido and Masindi.
Tumwesigye explained that apparently under the World Bank loan, renovations of hospitals including Moroto, Miyana, Nakaseke, Kiryandongo, Nebbi , Anaka, Moyo, Entebbe grade A and B and Iganga are ongoing.
He also said that under the support from the Italian government, government will construct 69m housing units for health workers in the Karamoja region.
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Government to recruit 3,000 health workers