The Ministry of Health will aquire land across the country for expansion of expansion of national referral hospitals and health training facilities.
The Minister of Health, Dr Jane Aceng who appeared before the Committee on Health to defend proposals in the 2022/2023 Budget Framework Paper, said that due to an increase in demand for health services as a result of growing population, there is a need for expansion of health training institutions and referral hospitals.
She stated that referral hospitals serve regions and the ministry is introducing services that are not available and expanding infrastructure that is small which makes land acquisition necessary.
“We are providing the facilities with a development budget and they are advised to set their priorities as per resources available and the regional maintenance workshops is one of them,” Aceng said.
Additionally, she noted that regional referral hospitals have been advised to prioritize the expansions within the funds available under the retooling project in a phased manner.
Dr. Aceng said that as part of the expansion, the ministry has built staff accommodation, a project that is still on-going in all the 124 Health Centre IIs that were upgraded in 2018/19.
“These received Shs150 million each for the construction of twin-two bedroom staff houses,” she added.
Hon Yusuf Nsibambi (FDC, Mawokota South) said that the ministry needs to iron out some of the issues concerning the land on which many of the hospitals stand.
“In my previous job, we noticed that these hospitals are on untitled land and bordered by land grabbers who keep encroaching on the land,” he said.
Nsibambi advised that all the hospitals like Mulago National Referral Hospital need to have their land surveyed and boundaries opened up to wade off encroachers and to establish more usable land.
The Chairperson of the Committee, D. Charles Ayume also asked the ministry to prioritise allocation of resources to retooling and maintenance of health facilities and their equipment.
“We cannot focus on building new facilities alone without maintaining the facilities that exist; there should not be situation where MRI scanners do not work for six months,” he added.