Soroti Hospital board finally inaugurated

By Alexander Okori

Dr Charles Vincent Ojoome is the new board chairman

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The state minister for health, Sarah Opendi, on Thursday inaugurated Soroti Regional Referral Hospital board after close to five years of waiting.

The board consists of thirteen health professionals, a lawyer, an engineer, health economists, pharmacist, an entrepreneur and a senior health worker of Soroti Regional Referral Hospital. 

Dr Charles Vincent Ojoome is the new board chairman while Dr Michael Mwanga the hospital director is the secretary. 

Other members are Jimmy Einau from Serere, Dr Bernard Odur from Bukedea district, Irene Fred Ocen (Kumi), William Ateti (Kaberemaido), Mary Margrate Akareut and Henry Ddamba while Soroti DHO Dr Charles Stephen Okhadi, Soroti University resgistrar James Gregory Okello, Simon Kasibagire and Francis Oboi are ex officio members. 

During the ceremony presided over by the Soroti High Court chief magistrate, Monica Amono, Opendi said there is the need for the new board to rebuild a cordial relationship between the hospital and its stakeholders in order to cast the hospital in good light. 

“The hospital being in Soroti does not mean that the Soroti district local government can take charge of everything in the hospital but it can be part of the management basing on each person’s role in the hospital,” she said.

Opendi noted that there is no need for stakeholders to dwell so much on the past. 

She called upon the board to define the responsibility of the various stakeholders in the management of the hospital. 

She said that government’s failure to streamline the health system is creating unnecessary workload on the few doctors and nurses just because many of the lower health facilities like referring cases that they can manage and because they have some of the specialists in place.

“As a government, I think we are failing to streamline the referral system and we must admit that bitter truth because health centres also refer minor operations to the hospital”, she said. 

The Soroti LC5 chairperson, George Michael Egunyu, disclosed that the hospital has had a strained relationship with Soroti district during the tenure of former director Dr Emmanuel Batibwe because of complaints about services delivery at the hospital. 

Soroti resident district commissioner William Wilberforce Tukei said improving health services at the hospital is one of the ways to propagate good investment for the region as Soroti will become a city soon.

Dr Ojoome assured the minister, hospital administrators and district leaders present of his commitment to improving stakeholder relationship with the current hospital management so that service is improved. 

“The new board will want to build the regional stakeholder relationship, lobby for more staff, sensitisation of the community to understand the hospital, institute a monitoring committee for quality services at the hospital, among others,” Ojoome said in his maiden speech as board chairman. 

The hospital director Dr Michael Mwanga said they badly need specialists because out of the thirty needed, the hospital only has seven.

He added that the hospital has no IT personnel, a position that has never featured in recruitment demands.