KAMPALA – The Public Accounts Committee has directed the Auditor General, John Muwanga to carry out a value for money audit into the construction of over 200 maternity wards in different health facilities across the country.
The Committee’s decision followed the failure officials from the Ministry of Health led by the Diana Atwine, Permanent Secretary failed to convince the Committee on the variance in costs of the maternity wards at the different health facilities.
During the meeting, lawmakers noted that the Ministry of Health upgraded 124 health facilities from the level of health centre two to health center with 20 maternity wards at the cost of Shs500M and the same ministry also has another 27 health centres upgraded with eight maternity wards at the cost of Shs1.4Bn which led to the members of parliament to ask the cause in the variance.
George Otim, Engineer at the Ministry of Health informed the committee these were not renovations but new structures that were set up and says that it’s not true the same amount of money can be used to set up a structure.
Although the MPs concurred with Ministry that it’s true the factor to set up a health facility in each district are not the same, however, they raised queries on why the ministry had a constant figure for each health facility.
The discovery prompted Okin Ojara, Vice-Chairperson Public Accounts Committee to demand that a list and status of all the maternity wards that were constructed is submitted and asked the auditors to look into the details and value for money audit.