The State Minister for Primary Health Care, Hon. Margaret Muhanga, has acknowledged that lower government health facilities are underfunded.
The minister made the admission following appeals by Hon. Francis Mwijukye (FDC, Buhweju County) and Hon. Christine Ndiwalana (NUP, Bukomansimbi North) about drug stock outs in their respective constituencies.
During the plenary sitting on Wednesday, 05 April 2023, Mwijukye said that Buhweju District lacks essential medicines, health supplies and basic kits for lower health facilities which has led to facility closures as well as increased referrals to regional referral hospitals.
“Consequently, health facilities are closing; this has also increased referrals to regional referral hospitals which creates congestion and a burden on the cases that could have been handled in the lower facilities.” Mwijukye said.
Ndiwalana cited a shortage of medical supplies in Bukomansimbi North stating that this had resulted in maternal mortality and morbidity.
According to Muhanga, the primary driver of health facility stock outs is an overwhelming number of patients who cannot afford private healthcare.
She stated that there are funding gaps and the National Medical Stores’ budget needs to be increased.
Muhanga appealed to the Members of Parliament to support the ministry when it brings its budget.
“We have a lot of funding gaps and if there are members here from the Committee of Health, they can bare me witness that we have come before that committee so many times requesting that the budget for National Medical Stores be increased,” she added.