The Ministry of Health has been urged to address the continued drug stock outs faced by health centres countrywide.
Hon. Robert Migadde (NRM, Buvuma Island County) said that health centres in Buvuma Island have been operating without drugs since November 2022.
He made the revelation during the plenary sitting on 24 January 2023.
“The Committee on Health visited the district in late October and witnessed the inadequacies. Health workers told the MPs that they were only watching patients. Imagine a situation where one cannot access even panadol in an island,” he said.
Migadde asked the Minister for Health to ensure drugs are delivered to the health centres.
Kilak South County Member of Parliament, Hon. Gilbert Olanya said that the last time health centres in Amuru District received drugs was in September 2022.
“Health workers now prescribe medicines to the patients and direct them to private pharmacies,” he said.
Hon. Linda Irene (NRM, Fort Portal City) said that Fort Portal and Kabarole are faced with the same challenge.
“The District Chairperson of Fort Portal has threatened to close health centres due to lack of drugs,” she said.
The Minister of State for Health (Primary healthcare), Hon. Margaret Muhanga acknowledged that the country is facing drug stock outs in the majority of government health facilities but was quick to blame it on inadequate funds.
“Hospitals are overwhelmed with patients. Parliament needs to appropriate more funds and advocate for primary health care.,” she said.
She added that National Medical Stores (NMS) dispatches drugs to the health facilities and called on MPs to exercise transparency while handling the issue.
“NMS sends messages to MPs on drugs supplied. You should go to health centres and find out if they have received drugs,” said Muhangi.
The Deputy Speaker, Thomas Tayebwa however, directed the minister to present a record of drug deliveries countrywide.
“An SMS is not a drug. Do you think it is possible for NMS to give you a list of drugs deliveries countrywide and you lay it here?” Tayebwa asked.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Parliament of the Republic of Uganda.