Yumbe

Inadequate staffing hits Yumbe regional referral hospital

(Last Updated On: 12 July 2023)

Yumbe, July 12, 2023: Yumbe Regional Referral Hospital is currently operating with only six doctors and one specialist – TND News understands.

The hospital Director Dr Patrick Odong confirmed that the facility has less than 150 staff (23%) which is far below the new structures that were communicated by the Ministry of Public Service on March 9, 2023.

“The hospital has 6 doctors, with only one specialist, a pediatric and child health, the hospital is lacking consultants,” Dr Patrick said.

He further revealed that last year, the government allocated shs 1.5 billion for recruitment but the money was consumed by the salary enhancement.

According to Dr Odong, the hospital has been allocated shs 1.1 billion for recruiting staff and said they will prioritize and recruit key positions like nurses, midwives, and specialists.

“But the hospital needs close to shs 7.5 billion to bring its staffing level to 75%. We moved with only the staff when the hospital was still a general hospital while others decided to remain in the district and others left for better offers,” the director added.

He continued that the hospital still lacks some units like a mental clinic, Ear Nose and Throat (ENT) Ophthalmology department, and lacking blood bank which, according to him, are essential in the provision of quality health service.

“Government is also building the oxygen plant which is nearing completion,” Dr Odong said.

Yumbe District LC5 Chairman Abdulmutalib Asiku also confirmed that the hospital has a serious challenge of staffing which is affecting health service.

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The chairman said the most critical areas affected are specialized doctors, adding that in the last financial year, they requested the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Public Service to give the hospital a waiver to recruit special doctors but the latter ministry had put a ban. At the time, the ministry was validating all the staff in public service.

“We are hopeful that, this financial year we will have adequate resources to recruit specialized doctors so that we can make Yumbe a Regional Referral Hospital. As of now, we are operating as a general hospital,” the chairman also said, adding: “We have engaged development partners and NGOs who have accepted to make a top-up allowance for the specialized doctors who will be recruited.”

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Yumbe Regional Referral Hospital became operational in July 2021. The hospital serves patients from within the district, the neighbouring communities of Koboko, Marcha, Terego, Obongi, Moyo, and Adjumani including refugees. The hospital also receives patients from parts of South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo

On December 20, 2022, and again on February 10, 2023, the Ministry of Health, in a communication to the Ministry of Public Service indicated that the new structures for Regional Referral Hospitals stand at 1,195.

On March 9, 2022, the Ministry of Public Service wrote to all senior executive consultants (Heads of Regional Referral Hospitals) directing them to implement the new structure within the available wage provision for the financial year 2022/2023.

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