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Public Service Allows Hospitals To Recruit Critical Staff

The Ministry of Health has been cleared to recruit critical staff in national and regional referral hospitals despite the ban on recruitment.

The Public Service Ministry’s Permanent Secretary, Catherine Bitarakate in a letter to her counterpart at the Health to Health Ministry, Diana Atwine said only hospitals with a surplus wage can go ahead to recruit.

The Auditor General’s latest report found that twenty-one hospitals in different parts of the country had wage surpluses.

Hoima Regional Referral Hospital had according to the report the s the highest surplus in wages in its budget.

Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng recently told URN that the ban on recruitment was also affecting the setting up of the newly launched Organ transplant program at Mulago Specialized National Referral Hospital.

According to her, the facility which has up to a thousand waiting for kidney transplants for instance was only operating with only three transplant surgeons and therefore needed clearance to recruit more specialists to work with the transplant team. Mulago Hospital has 1.3 billion shillings to recruit for this and other critical staff.

Dr. Herbert Luswata, the President of the Uganda Medical Association (UMA) in an interview said some hospitals like Kayunga, Moroto, and Yumbe regional referral hospitals need urgent attention when it comes to recruitment as they are currently operating with only about 30 percent of the staff they need.

Luswata said the Internal Medicine department at Moroto Regional Referral Hospital has been operating without a physician and medical officers there are on voluntary work awaiting to be formally employed by the government. Moroto Hospital has 4.5 billion shillings in wage surplus.

Luswata says this money that is currently lying idle can help them recruit up to sixty percent of the critical staff that the regional referral facility needs.

Government through the Ministry of Finance had issued a ban on recruitment for all ministries, departments, agencies and local governments in April 2023 for two years pending a comprehensive audit of the payroll. Bitarakate says this audit has since ended but recruitment has not been resumed generally as her ministry is in the process of reviewing the wage bill in line with the recommendations of the Auditor General.

-URN

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