Health Minister Seeks Parliament Intervention Over Budget Cuts

Aceng said that the cuts will affect their operations. She asked the MPs to ensure the funding is not reduced.
Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng speaking during a plenary sitting.

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The Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has asked parliament to intervene into budget cuts, which she says are going to make it difficult for the sector to operate in the next financial year.

Aceng on Thursday appeared before Parliament’s Health Committee that is currently considering the budget framework paper for the financial year 2022/2023.

She told MPs that entities in the Health Sector are planning budget cuts, citing 15.6 billion Shillings cut from the Ministry of Health budget, 80 billion from National Medical Stores (NMS), 2.4 billion from Uganda Virus Research Institute (UVRI), and others.

The other cuts in the sector are 5 Billion Shillings reduced on the Uganda Heart Institute budget, 750 Million from Uganda Blood Transfusion Services, and 6.8 billion from Mulago National Referral Hospital 6.8 billion Shillings.

Aceng told the committee that the cuts are going to affect their operations. She asked the MPs to ensure the funding is not reduced. 

She said that although the money being cut was previously given as a supplementary budget, it needs to be maintained so that the activities for which the funds were availed can continue. 

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Recently, a Ministry of Finance official attached to the Health committee, Nimrod Agasha told MPs that the NMS budget for the coming financial year 2022/2023 had been cut by 80 billion Shillings since the government is expecting a grant from the World Bank of US Dollars 137 million which will be used for procurement of Covid-19 vaccines.

In this financial year 2021/2022, parliament appropriated 600 Million Shillings to NMS and the reduction means that the entity will in the next financial year 2022/2023 receive a total budget of 520 billion Shillings.

Aceng also told MPs that the Ministry has stopped constructing hospitals on land which is not titled to protect government land from grabbers.

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Yusuf Nsibambi, the Mawokota South MP asked the Minister not to surrender hospital land to grabbers and instead asked her to use government surveyors to open up the land and be able to chase away land grabbers.

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Dr. Charles Ayume, the Health Committee Chairperson also emphasized the need to immediately survey and fence off the land.  

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