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Tuesday,August 04,2020 10:46 AM

Government to employ 1,000 doctors

By Vision Reporter

Added 22nd November 2010 03:00 AM

A total of 1,000 doctors are to be hired to improve the delivery of health services, according to the Health Service Commission.

A total of 1,000 doctors are to be hired to improve the delivery of health services, according to the Health Service Commission.

By Conan Businge and Taddeo Bwambale

A total of 1,000 doctors are to be hired to improve the delivery of health services, according to the Health Service Commission.

The chairman of the commission, Prof. George Kirya, said an advert will be placed in the newspapers in December and the interviews will follow thereafter.

He said the recruitment of health workers will be a continuous and consistent process every year.

“Uganda used to be an icon in health service delivery. We are rebuilding the health sector and we must take the human resource as a priority to health service delivery,” Kirya noted.

Kirya was speaking yesterday at the ongoing 16th health sector joint mission 2010 at Speke Resort Munyonyo.

There are about 2,000 doctors employed by the Government. But this number is still low, since many health units depend on junior health workers.

A new health ministry report shows that 54% of the doctors working in the public sector also work in the private sector.

It is not only doctors that are in shortage in the country. The latest drug and health services delivery probe report by State House showed that over 65% of health facilities were severely understaffed.

Uganda needs about 46,977 health workers in public service, of which only 28,000 are currently in service. The health ministry’s 2007/08 annual health sector performance report showed that there was only 46% of the required number of doctors.

Only 80% of the required nurses are hired, and for allied workers, it is 71%. Administration has 56% of its slots filled, while support staff has 61%, according to the USAID report.

Makerere, the most prestigious medical school in the country, produces about 100 doctors a year. In total, the country produces about 250 doctors per year; considering other universities.

In Uganda, the doctor to patient ratio is 1:24,725, falling short of the 1:600 standard set by the World Health Organisation.

The recruitment is part of the five-year new health sector strategic and investment plan.

Plans are also in advanced stages to increase salaries for all health personnel, according the director of health services, Dr. Kenya Mugisha.

The health service commission has also proposed to the Cabinet to have doctors availed vehicle and housing soft loans.

The Government offers newly-recruited medical officers a gross monthly salary of sh626,181, while the highest medical officer at the level of a consultant takes home sh1.6m per month.

This is three times less than what Rwanda and Kenya give their doctors.

This financial year, the Government increased salaries for health workers by 30%.

Asked about the recent reports of loss of public funds to ghost workers and health units, Mugisha said: “The health sector is being run by people with no skills and managerial potential.”

“That is going to be solved and we are going to have a revamped health sector. We are going to be transparent, committed and more accountable,” he added.

As the number of health workers declines, the mortality rate increases, according to health experts.



Government to employ 1,000 doctors

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