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Fort Portal Hospital Installs Bio Metric Machine to Fight Absenteeism

Grace Rubaale, the Principal Administrator Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital, says the innovation is aimed at regularizing staff attendance of at the hospital. Rubaale explains that in the past they were using a register, which was often abused.

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Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital has installed a Bio Metric machine to curb absenteeism among health workers.  Both general staff and health workers are required to login using their thumb print to register their attendance each day.  

The Bio Metric machine that is attached to a camera keeps the records of each health worker who reports for duty. The records are then sent directly to the office of the Hospital Director and Human Resources Manager. 

Grace Rubaale, the Principal Administrator Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital, says the innovation is aimed at regularizing staff attendance of at the hospital. Rubaale explains that in the past they were using a register, which was often abused.

She says that health workers often hid the register while others registered even when they didn't show up for work, which affected delivery of health services.

//Cue in: 'the hospital…

Cue out: "…and write 8:30."//

Under the system, general staff are supposed to cloak in at 8:30 am and cloak out at 5:00pm, while the health workers cloak in at 8:00 am, 3:00 pm and 9:00 pm depending on their shifts. 

According to Rubaale, the machine is also connected to the Integrated Monetary and Financial System-IMFS so that the staff are only paid for the number of days they have reported for duty.

She says they have registered success since the machine was installed two months ago. Rubaale explains that there has been punctuality and regular attendance of health workers since they are being monitored every day.  She says that in the past some health workers often absconded from duty to run private clinics.

//Cue in: "some workers run…

Cue out: "…will not give up.'//

According to the Health Sector Performance Report 2012/2013, at least 40 per cent of health workers countrywide are rarely at their workstations. The report cites district hospitals and lower health units as the most affected.

The most quoted reasons for absenteeism are poor pay, poor working conditions and study leave. The report attributed the problem to insufficient supervision at the district level, where the authorities are not doing enough to ensure that health workers report for duty regularly.

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