The Prime Minster Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda has urged key leaders in the health sector to generate practical solutions to the challenges faced by the sector so that they can be used by government to create policy direction for the sector.
He said government still faces a key challenge on how to improve the quality of human resources in the health sector.
“How can we curb organized absenteeism of health workers and negligence of duty? Absenteeism of health workers cheats government of up to 40% of their time of employment. This malpractice affects the quality of patient care and destroys team work,” Rugunda said.
The Premier made the remarks at the official opening of the International Summit on Leadership in Healthcare organized under the theme “Sharing Strategies for Success” at Mestil hotel in Kampala on Wednesday.
The 2-day summit will open a forum for discussing the latest leadership innovations in healthcare and explore their sustainability.
Rugunda noted that if key challenges in the health sector are identified and solved, Uganda will be able to attain a middle income status in 2020, as per the strategic guidelines and directives issued by the President in 2016.
“In the President’s guidelines, key tasks of the government were highlighted and those specific for the health sector were also identified. The President further directed each sector to develop strategies for the implementation of these directives and streamline the service delivery operations of each sector as a perquisite requirement for Uganda’s minimum Program of attaining a middle income status,” the Premier said.
He further highlighted some of the key issues faced by the health sector and they include; theft and stock outs of medicines, neglect of duty and absenteeism, poor governance, corruption, poor service delivery and shoddy work in the health infrastructure among others.
The Premier also commended the ‘Caring Together Project’ which was implemented by Baylor- Uganda in the Rwenzori and Eastern regions of Uganda from January 2015 up to January 2018. The Project used a unique approach based around a comprehensive district-led mentorship scheme to empower health workers at the frontline to deliver high quality services.
He said the project yielded results indicated by a 27% reduction in staff late arrivals which led to a reduction in client waiting time by 42% and an increase in patients’ perceived quality of care at OPD by 13%.
Rugunda urged the attendees of the meeting to come up with practical solutions that can be adopted by the Ministry of Health to motivate Uganda’s work force and also improve its vigilance in enforcing statutory provisions on human resource management.
The Minister of State for Health, Sarah Opendi, said leadership is crucial in improving healthcare especially in Uganda, where the sector is faced with a rapid changing landscape and a high population among others.
She also noted that there is need to increasing funding for the health sector sighting that the challenges faced by the sector cannot be addressed without resources.
The Executive Director of Baylor- Uganda, Dr. Adeodata Kekitiinwa, implored the attendees of the summit to ensure that operational leadership gaps in the health sector are eliminated to achieve improved healthcare outcomes.
She also urged that emphasis be pressed on collaboration for the successful implementation of any health goals and projects.
Wednesday, April 25, 2018
BY DOREEN NASASIRA