The Government has upgraded six health centre IVs to general hospital status.
The move is aimed at equipping them and strengthening their capacity to handle medical cases so as to decongest Mulago National Referral Hospital.
A general hospital is a non-specialised hospital, treating patients suffering from all types of medical conditions.
Such a facility provides preventive, promotive outpatient curative, maternity, inpatient, emergency surgery, blood transfusion and laboratory services.
In a September 5 letter to the chief administrative officers of Mukono, Amuria, Kaberamaido, Kayunga, Luwero and Kamwenge, the health ministry’s permanent secretary, Dr Diana Atwine, said additional funding had been availed for staff recruitment and operation at the respective hospitals.
“The Ministry of Health would like to inform you that following infrastructure upgrade at Koboko HC IV, Amuria HC IV, Mukono HC IV, Rukunyu HC IV, Kaberamaido HC IV and Luwero HC IV, starting financial year 2019/20 they have been upgraded to general hospital,” Atwine stated.
She asked each district to recruit staff as per staffing norms to enable quality health service delivery.
In total, 185 staff will be recruited. They include senior medical officers, administrators, dental surgeons, nursing officers, midwives, enrolled psychiatric nurses, nursing assistants, clinical officers, laboratory technicians, anaesthetic attendants, nutritionists, radiographers, physiotherapists, drivers and cooks. Atwine said sh700m has been released to Koboko Hospital for operationalisation, Amuria Hospital (sh700m), Mukono Hospital (sh500m), Rukunyu Hospital (sh700m), Kaberamaido Hospital (sh700m) and Luwero Hospital (sh720m).
Uganda’s healthcare system works on a referral basis; if a level II facility cannot handle a case, it refers it to the unit a level above until the regional and national level. Health centre IV facilities serve a county or a parliamentary constituency, with admission wards for both men and women.
There are 155 general hospitals in Uganda, both public and private. Of these, two are national referrals (Mulago and Butabika), 14 are regional referrals while 139 are general hospitals.
Hospitals are major contributors to outputs of essential clinical care and take up a large volume of human and financial resources.