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MPs Concerned Over Low Staffing At Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital

MPs on the Public Accounts Committee raised concern over the low staffing levels at Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital, upon learning that the hospital’s staffing levels stand at 15-17% with 181 staff against the required 1198 staff, who are expected to serve a catchment population of 3.7 million people.


John Bosco Nsubuga, Acting Director, of Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital revealed that the hospital is grappling with very low staffing levels yet the facility is meant to offer care to patients from districts of; Wakiso, Kampala, Mpigi, Nakaseke, Kalangala and Butambala, thus making it the 3rd highest regional referral hospital after Jinja & Mbale.


“The staffing level at the moment oscillates between 15-17.4%, which is really very low. I think I want to thank the staff I work with because this means that with this kind of workload, and with this kind of workload, it requires a lot of commitment. The 181 involves cleaners, drivers and those attending to patients,” said Nsubuga.

“However, there is something which is being done in that direction and I would like to thank Parliament in this regard that last year, we received money to recruit more staff and currently, through the Health Service Commission, it is recruiting more staff for us, so we hope that by the end of this financial year we will get more staff, we already submitted our recruitment plan and slowly, they are getting people for us,” added Nsubuga.


The revelation prompted Gorreth Namugga, Vice Chairperson PAC to ask if Entebbe Hospital was prematurely elevated to the regional referral hospital status, given the low staffing levels and the failure by the facility to achieve the 450 bed capacity expected of a regional referral hospital, but instead, is still operating with a 200 bed capacity.


“You have spoken about the staffing capacity, in terms of percentages, 15-17% serving a population of 3.7m people. So out of 1198 staff, Entebbe Regional Hospital has 181 staff serving a population of 3.5m people, eehhh how do you achieve this? Were you prematurely elevated? You said you have been regional referral hospital for 5years and for the past five years you have a bed capacity of 200 beds against 450 beds,” said Namugga.


Susan Amero (Amuria DWR) asked Nsubuga to provide details of the breakdown of the hospital’s staff structure noting, “Can the doctor be specific on the number of staff attending to patients so that we get the correct figure because as it stands, we can’t get anything if we don’t know the real health workers on ground.”


It was later revealed that despite having a catchment population of 3.7m people, the number of outpatients seen in 2023 were 39,689, with MPs wondering if some patients stayed away from Entebbe Hospital due to limited workers to attend to them.


The MPs also raised concern over the failure by Government to release the Shs29M that had been allocated Entebbe hospital for development expenditure with Namugga noting, “We want details of your work plan under development, you have an approved budget, pick out that component of development that speaks to it, it might be Shs29M or more depending on your plan. But our question is, for Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital, what can Shs29M do for development? Don’t you think it poses so many questions? I told you, you house one of the most important persons in this country, what can Shs29M do for the development budget of Entebbe National Referral hospital?”

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