Excessive Corruption at MoH Crippling Health Sector – Bitekyerezo

Medard Bitekyerezo

Former Member of Parliament for Mbarara Municipality Dr. Medard Bitekyerezo has decried the despicable corruption that has dominated the health sector in Uganda calling on the President to weigh in on the perpetrators.

The outspoken former legislator said that there’s a string of botched procurements of equipment being
done by selfish officials in Ministry of Health in anticipation of kick backs.

Dr. Bitekyerezo who was speaking Thursday at a dialogue organized by Kigo Thinkers a public policy think tank on the status of Health in Uganda accused top officials and technocrats of misleading the
President on the state of the sector which is in his view rotting.

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“Our health facilities are faced with a big problem of non-functional equipment that constantly breaks down. People in charge of procurement are buying us fake machines as long as they get a cut off the money and construct buildings when innocent Ugandans are dying.”

“In Kamuli district, patient a CT scan was purchased, mind the doctor opened it to store some medical tools but as soon as he closed it, page it never opened again. It has been closed for one year. In other cases like Mbale, you find a regional referral hospital without a functioning theatre,” he added.

He revealed that he recently discovered that some Ministry officials were hideously making deductions from money meant for Primary health care in health facilities.

Recently the Ministry numerous was forced to withdraw a bunch of hospital beds from health centers because they were no longer functioning.

He attributed this gross mismanagement of resources to patronage coupled with lack of oversight and regular monitoring by those in charge.

“In most districts, the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) is closely related with the District Health Officer making it difficult to apprehend him if he engages in corruption. These officers that steal money should be transferred to distant areas so they can learn the hard way.”

However Dr. Bitekyerezo who also chaired the committee on health in the previous parliament recommended that government rethinks the remuneration of health workers in order to improve their service delivery.

He further asked that a health insurance policy for Ugandans be formulated and implemented.


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