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Health Committee Recommends Reversal of Sector Budget Cuts

The recommendation is carried in a report presented before Parliament’s Budget Committee by Health Committee Chairperson Dr Charles Ayume. The proposed budget for the Health Sector presented in the National Budget Framework Paper for the financial year 2022/2023 is 2.2 trillion Shillings.
Dr. Charles Ayume, the Health Committee Chairperson presenting a report to the Budget Committee of Parliament.

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Parliament’s Health Committee has recommended a reversal of the Health sector budget cuts totalling 113.1 billion Shillings.

The recommendation is carried in a report presented before Parliament’s Budget Committee by Health Committee Chairperson Dr Charles Ayume. The proposed budget for the Health Sector presented in the  National Budget Framework Paper for the financial year 2022/2023 is 2.2 trillion Shillings.

Ayume noted that his committee had been informed of a proposal by the Ministry of Finance to raise additional funding through rationalization of different budgets for Ministries, Departments and Agencies. The planned budget cuts include a 15.6 billion Shillings cut from the Ministry of Health, 80 billion Shillings from National Medical Stores (NMS), and 2.4 billion Shillings from Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI).

The other cuts in the sector are five billion Shillings reduced on the Uganda Heart Institute budget, 750 Million from Uganda Blood Transfusion Services, and 6.8 billion Shillings from Mulago National Referral Hospital. Ayume said that the different budget cuts will affect operations in the health sector and the Ministry.

//Cue in; “the committee observed…

Cue out…next financial year.”//

Besides the budget cuts, Dr Ayume told the Budget Committee that the Health Sector has a number of unfunded and underfunded priorities for the next financial year totalling which collectively sum up to 1.8 trillion Shillings.

Some of the activities cited by Ayume are 92 billion Shillings required to procure specialized medicines for Mulago National Referral hospital, 139 billion Shillings for diagnostic equipment needs at different Regional Referral Hospitals, 27 billion Shillings to procure 100 vehicles for consultants, 70 billion Shillings to minimize stock out for essential medicines, and 115 billion to enhance salaries of health workers and others.

//Cue in; “inadequate budget for…

Cue out…by health workers.”//

Gomba Woman MP Sylvia Nayebare asked her colleagues to support the recommendation of reversing the budget cuts saying that the health sector is very critical.

//Cue in; “so I call…

Cue out…thank you Chair.”//

Buyamba County MP Gyavira Ssemwanga said that the health budget was being cut at a critical time when there is a need to fight COVID-19 and also equip health centres. He questioned why the Finance Ministry would propose budget cuts to Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI) yet it is at the centre of research on COVID-19.  

Ignatius Mudimi Wamakuyu, the Budget Committee Vice Chairperson said that they would consider the proposals from the Health Committee. 

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