KAMPALA-- Uganda's Ministry of Health is facing a debt of 38 billion shillings (about 10.3 million US dollars) owed to various suppliers, according to the ministry's budget policy statement

In the report submitted to Parliament, the ministry indicates that some of the suppliers have taken it to courts of law. However, State Minister for Health Sarah Opendi says most of the debts have to do with the various construction projects the ministry has been undertaking.

According to the 2018/2019 budget framework paper, the budget for the health sector has been reduced from 1.8 trillion shillings allocated in current 2017/18 fiscal year to s.6 trillion for next year. The reduction will cause the percentage allocation of the health sector in the national budget to fall from 8.3 per cent to 7.4 per cent.

Commenting on the budget for the sector, shadow minister for health Julius Ochen said what the government gives to health centres is a mockery to the lives of Ugandans. Even an increase from 500,000 to 1.5 million shillings for each health centre is nothing. That money cannot sustain a healthy facility for even two weeks. The number of Ugandans who go to health centres is more than those who go to the big hospitals, he argued.

Any government that values its citizens seriously invests in the health sector. The meagre budget for our health sector is a clear manifestation that we have a government that attaches no value to the lives of Ugandans. They are more preoccupied with entrenching themselves in power against all odds, Ochen argued.


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