EDITORâ€”The Governmentâ€™s package of some s1.2b loan secured to renovate health centres country wide is welcome at this critical moment of health concern. The Government has done its best to improve health centres and hospitals at all levels.
But I would request that the Government starts with providing ambulances to these health centres rather than staring with renovations. If possible, this money could even be used to stock the health centres with equipment and medicines before improving the structures. It is true a health centre or a hospital is supposed to give the patient hope but it is illogical to focus on buildings when the patients inside are helpless.
However magnificent the buildings may be, if patients donâ€™t have drugs it is tantamount to misappropriation of the loan. When the health minister, Dr Stephen Malinga, was addressing the crowd at Kigandalo primary school in Mayuge during the Safe Motherhood Day celebrations, he said the Government would soon provide ambulances to health centres because they have the capacity to maintain the vehicles.
This is real fantasy or political propaganda because many people have died because there was either no ambulance to rush them to the hospitals and where the vehicle is available, the relatives of the patient are asked to fuel it. I now wonder whether fuelling a vehicle is more difficult than maintaining it. We would rather use the few ambulances we have when they are serving the purpose whenever deemed necessary.
Since most of the health centres have reasonable physical infrastructure, the loan would best serve to fill the facilities with drugs and equipment than refurbishing buildings when drugs are bought from private pharmacies.
Give priority to ambulances, drugs