A section of lawmakers have called on Government to consider a monthly pay to members of the Village Heath Teams (VHTs) a monthly fee of Shs300,000 from the current Shs10,000 they are being paid at the moment.
Leading the call was Stephen Aseera (Buhaguzi East) who tabled before Parliament a motion urging Government to consider increasing payment of the VHTs, arguing that the current pay doesn’t match the services rendered, given that the majority of the population is far from health centres which makes VHTs indispensable to bridge the gap.
“Now be it resolved that Parliament urges government to provide monthly payments to the VHTs of at least Shs100,000., I would have loved to suggest a higher fee but given the situation we are in of Covid, I would comfortably suggest Shs300,000 but at the start, and as an incentive and recognition that they play in the health care delivery system,” he said.
Aseera added that the financial incentive to VHTs aren’t regular and this has led to higher turnover of members out of the program due to the financial constraint and lack of transportation which continues to affect the program.
Speaker Anita Among, however said Parliament couldn’t proceed with the motion because it imposes a charge on the consolidated fund, which changes are only bestowed on Government remarking, “Does it have any budgetary implication? And if it affects article 94 of the constitution that can only be done by Government. Can the Prime Minister take over the motion? Our hands are tied, the Government should take it up and bring it as a motion.”
Premier Robinah Nabbanja promised to study the motion but quickly added that Government is financially constrained at the moment.
“You are aware that we are struggling to pay teachers, let me call a spade a spade, the motion has very good intention let me take it to the government side and discuss it, we shall report in the near future,” Nabbanja said.
Village Health Teams (VHTs) were established by the Ministry of Health in 2001 to empower communities to take part in the decisions that affect their health; mobilize communities for health programs, and strengthen the delivery of health services at house-hold level.