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Uganda Heart Institute wants UGX262b for center of excellence

Trainee doctors at the Uganda Heart Institute in Mulago. The Institute wants UGX262b for center of excellence (NET PHOTO)

KAMPALA – Parliament was approved a recommendation by the Committee of Health requesting Government to provide UGX262b to help Uganda Heart Institute construct a standalone Centre of Excellence of an International standard.

The recommendation was contained in a report on the ministerial policy statement for the Ministry of Health in which the Committee Chairperson, Michael Bukenya told Parliament that despite of the central role the institute plays in cardiac care and treatment in the country and the move towards super specialization of cardiac service both in the region and world over, the Uganda Heart Institute is still grappling with inadequate space to fully utilize its capacity.

According to the Institute’s administration, the Intensive care unit would facilitate critical post operation care for heart patients and enable a churning out of a commendable number of operations is incomplete.

Additionally, the institute is further challenged by limited funding for specialized sundries and human resource development for the institute to enable more cardiac interventions and train staff in areas of cardiac surgery, anesthesia, critical care, perfusion and cardiology as well as inadequate super specialized cadre of staff due to lack of proper remuneration and recognition with this blamed on public service pay which does not capture the super specialists.

In their recommendations, the Committee called on Government to provide additional funding of UGX2.2b for the completion of Intensive Care unit Ward, Mulago Complex and a total of UGX10b allocated, to Uganda Heart Institute purposely for procurement of sundries, specialized cardiac instruments and human resource due to payment.

The MPs however raised concerns over the institute’s reluctance to extend the cardiac services to the regions of the country arguing that this will continue to cause severe congestion at the UHI arguing that the reluctance to extend the cardiac services especially the message on prevention and health promotion to the lower units will most likely lead to overwhelming number of cases even those that do not require referral.

In 2018/2019 the Institute received UGX19.57b and the budget will increase to UGX24.33b in 2019/2020 indicating an increment of UGX4.76b.

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