Health Ministry to procure five delivery beds for Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital

It should be noted that on 10th June 2024, wrote a letter to Dr. Atwine detailing that during a Committee meeting with Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital on 28th May 2024, the Public Accounts Committee noted that Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital operates without a single delivery bed yet the standard minimum number of beds in a referral hospital is four.

The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Dr. Diana Atwine has revealed plans to procure five delivery beds for Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital, after Gorreth Namugga (Mawogola South) sought permission from Government to procure a delivery bed for the facility, where some mothers were giving birth on the floor, due to absence of the delivery bed at the facility.

In her 12th June 2024 letter in response to Namugga’s request, Dr. Atwine acknowledged that Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital isn’t the only health facility without delivery beds, as there were other health facilities grappling with the same predicament, which prompted the Ministry of health to sign a contract on 30th May 2023 for the supply of delivery beds.

“Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital uses a surgical recovery bed as improvisation to deliver an average of 20 children a day. The Committee was overwhelmed by this unfortunate incident. Arising out of this concern, I do request for standard specification of the delivery bed so that I can patriotically procure one to improve the wellbeing of delivering mothers and to avert the inherent risk that contributes to child and maternal mortalities,” read in part Namugga’s  letter.

Atwiine revealed that Entebbe Hospital along with several other hospitals facing similar needs was included in the ongoing procurement for medical equipment, including delivery beds.

‘I am pleased to inform you that the hospital is set to receive five new delivery beds. The contract was signed on the 30thJune 2024 and we expect this delivery very soon,” she noted.

It should be noted that on 10th June 2024, wrote a letter to Dr. Atwine detailing that during a Committee meeting with Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital on 28th May 2024, the Public Accounts Committee noted that Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital operates without a single delivery bed yet the standard minimum number of beds in a referral hospital is four.

Namugga, who doubles as Vice Chairperson of PAC, detailed the predicament of Entebbe Hospital noting, “First of all, it was upgraded 5years ago from a general hospital to a regional referral hospital, its budget is still at the level of General Hospital, meaning, they have no staff, they have no wage, they have no non-wage. They have no adequate buildings, the budget for medicines and other equipment is very inadequate meaning that it can’t serve in the capacity of a regional referral hospital. I have written to het to give me a list of all health facilities that are in that category yet they have no adequate budget to fulfill their mandate.”

Atwine went on urge Namugga to join the Ministry of Health in lobbying for an increased budget for the hospital to match the requirements of a regional referral hospital, highlighting that since its upgrade in 2018/19, Entebbe Hospital has continued to receive the budget of a general Hospital despite their efforts to secure a budget enhancement, the hospital’s predicament is worsened by the low staffing levels.

“Currently, the staffing level of Entebbe Hospital is at only 15.5% of the required staff for a regional referral hospital leading to significant understaffing and an inability to recruit the necessary number of health care professionals,” noted Atwine.

Namugga commended Dr.Atwine for the swift response and wrote another letter asking the Ministry of Health to avail her with a list of other health facilities that were upgraded, but whose budgets and staffing levels don’t meet their latest levels, saying it is only when Uganda’s health care system improves that Ugandans can get to enjoy their nation.

“On the issues of health, I have now embarked on this mission because a nation can only be deemed good if it has healthy people. You can’t establish wealth creation funds for people to get money and grow their businesses if we don’t have beds in hospitals. Government giving us basic health care shouldn’t be viewed as a favour to us because we pay taxes. By standard, a regional referral hospital is supposed to have at least 6 delivery beds, but Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital had none. So I thank the Permanent Secretary for responding on time,” explained Namugga .

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