The Forum for Democratic Change presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye,two weeks ago opened a can of worms when he used the sorry state of Abim hospital to drive home his change campaign.
The reaction by government functionaries after Dr Besigye’s visit, including by the Abim Chief Administrative Officer, was as unfortunate as surprising and amusing. Whether the three nurses at the receiving end in the wake of Dr Besigye’s exposé flouted any public service procedures, or whether a procurement process was already initiated to deal with the general malaise Abim hospital, built by the Uganda Peoples Congress government in the 1960s finds itself in, became immaterial.
The issue now is that generally, our health facilities and the predicament of our health sector is in an appalling state and we need action.
In today’s issue, the candidates, those who have their policy agenda set out in the manifestos, tackle health. Who has the best agenda?
Everything is inside here today, and properly contextualised for you to judge.
However, we feel that a curative health policy agenda should be able to look at the following areas:
Functionalise hospitals and health centres through paying the health workers a living wage, equipping the facilities properly as some health centre IV’s have theatres but no equipment.
Timely and appropriate provision of drugs to patients, especially in the countryside, and logistical support to staff, for example a decent accommodation for core/key staff within the facilities.
As they say, a healthy nation is a wealthy nation. We need to put those seeking leadership mandate to strict proof that they are ready to help us save our wealth by fixing our health needs.
Mr Atuhaire is the head of the elections reporting desk at Daily Monitor