ACHEST supports review of the Health Services Commission 2017/18 Annual Performance Report

on Thursday, 08 August 2019.

The Chairperson of the Health Committee Spellanza Baguma and Prof. OmaswaThe Chairperson of the Health Committee Spellanza Baguma and Prof. OmaswaThe African Centre for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) supported the Parliamentary Health Committee to review the 2017/18 Annual Performance Report of the Health Services Commission in a half day dialogue held on the 1st of August 2019 at Imperial Royale Hotel Kampala.
The review of the report was led by Prof. Francis Omaswa, the Executive Director of ACHEST where issues on; matching the health workforce to the population needs, forming a structured coordination committee by parliament, filling the Director Generals position at Ministry of Health, reviewing the staffing norms, increasing the health budget and the per capita expenditure and expediting the National Health Insurance, among others were discussed.
Prof. Omaswa explained to the Members of parliament the hurdles by some districts in trying to attract potential candidates for District Health Officer (DHO) positions while others have to bribe local authorities to get to such jobs. He advised that in order to streamline the services delivered in the districts, the Health Services Commission should take charge of the recruitment of the DHOs.
The meeting participants suggested that the recruitment of the DHOs and their deputies be re-centralized to the central recruitment system to guard against such issues.
During the discussions, the Director of Policy at ACHEST, Dr. Patrick Kadama cautioned that as we push for the re-centralization of the recruitment of DHOs, care should be exercised in keeping in mind the functions to be performed by the officers stressing that the population has grown as the staffing norms have not changed.
“We need 40,000 doctors for the population of Uganda, but we only have 6,000, even though we cannot employ all of them. This shows that we are very far from what we require.” Dr. Kadama said.
Some of the recommendations made included: Update the staffing norms to match with the population growth; Government of Uganda should reduce leakages, tax evasion, unfair tax exemptions and capital flight; expand the tax base and use Development Assistance for Health more effectively and return to Swaps and Paris Declaration on aid effectiveness.
The chairperson of DHOs Dr. Ivan Kamya echoed that DHOs have recently recommended that their positions be re-centralized with better resource allocation.
The Vice Chairperson of the committee, Spellanza Baguma says MPs are yet studying the idea of re-centralization of the DHO recruitments. ACHEST was tasked to provide technical input to the report before it is tabled at parliament.
The meeting was attended by representatives of the Parliamentary Committee on health, civil society organizations working on Health and health journalists.