Medics want speedy approval of National Emergency Medical Services Policy to address healthcare challenges
BY AMBROSE GAHENE
Ministry of Health officials and members of the Parliamentary Committee on Health, in partnership with Malteser International, a worldwide humanitarian relief agency of the Malta, met in Kampala on Tuesday and called for speedy approval of the National Emergency Medical Services Policy, which is still in draft form to address various emergency health services challenges Uganda faces today.
Dr Diana Atwine, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary said once the Policy is approved, her Ministry will be in a position to save lives of patients, who die due to lack of adequate emergency services across many Health facilities across the country. She said emergency health services are critical but faces challenges of funding.
“Once the policy is passed, it will change many things. We are losing many people, when they would not die if the emergency medical services, such as Ambulances were readily available”.
Dr Atwine said the Ministry of Health is to procure an Ambulance for every Public Health Facility country wide. “In addition, we are set to buy 11 water Ambulances to cater for communities in the Islands of Buvuma and Kalangala”, she added.
Mr Adisa Hosana, Alteser International Country Director, said their organization took part in the assessment of the emergency Health Services together with the Ministry of Health, in which an initial funding of 1.6 million Euros was injected in the project, with support from Germany Development Cooperation as their major partner.
“Alteser International has been operating in Uganda for the last 25 years, where our focus is on Emergency Health provision and assisting of vulnerable groups”, he said.
Members of Parliament tasked the Ministry of Health officials to explain sources of funding, once the Policy is approved and why implementation of the various health projects has always been derailed. In response, Dr John Baptist Waniaye, Ministry of Health Commissioner for Emergency Medical Services, said the funding for Emergency Medical Services is included in the FY2020/21 Budget.
“In addition, the NRM Manifesto clearly indicates their commitment to prioritizing health service provision in the country”, he said. He said once the Policy is approved, the various departments formed to address emergency medical services will be tasked with the duty of implementing projects, under their dockets