Parliament has tasked the Ministry of Health to legitimize its partnership with Kilembe Mines Hospital in order to continue offering healthcare services to the people of Kasese.
The Chairperson of the Committee on Health, Hon. Charles Ayume said that they established that the uncertainty of the legal status of Kilembe Mines Hospital after the expiry of the Tripartite Agreement on 15 March 2022 is putting people of Kasese at crossroads.
The committee’s report reveals that the hospital is managed by Kilembe Mines Limited, Kasese District Local Government and Kasese Municipal Council but it is operating informally, has no board, no laboratory accreditation documents, and official stamps.
“Kilembe Mines Limited wrote to the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of Kasese District Local Government on 05 February 2022 requesting for continued partnership with the government in managing Kilembe Mines Hospital but no response has been received”, Ayume said adding that, ’the same request was transmitted to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health but there is no response to date’.
Hon. Charles Ayume added that the Chief Administrative Officer wrote to the Solicitor General seeking legal interpretation of the status of the hospital with no response.
The committee discovered that the hospital offers medical services to the people living along the ranges of Mt. Rwenzori.
It was established that it has no legal status within the government structure which has an impact on the management and resources for running the hospital.
Kasese Municipality Member of Parliament, Hon. Kambale Ferigo said it is important for the hospital credit line for medical supplies are reactivated.
“The decision to deactivate the credit line for medicine after the floods really shocked us and it was as if the ministry had declared all of us dead. Our position as the leadership is that we need medical supplies to urgently be given to the hospital. Deciding to build the hospital is a long-term plan. We need medicine now,” he said.
Kasese District Woman Representative, Hon. Florence Kabugho highlighted the issue of Rukoki maternity ward which got burnt 18 months ago.
“Up to now, the government has done nothing to rehabilitate the ward. It was the Rotary club and the people who fundraised to roof the ward. But women are still giving birth under trees”, she said.
The Minister of state for Health (General Duties), Hon. Anifa Kawooya said that they have had several engagements with Kasese District leadership and that they are implementing some of the recommendations.
She revealed that they are upgrading Rukoki Health Centre IV to a district hospital.
“In the meantime, the ministry is putting up a health facility to serve the population of Kilembe,” she said.