Kabale district authorities have failed to operationalize theatres at four health center IVs due to lack of medical doctors to handle operations. The theatres are found at Kamwezi, Rubaya, Muko and Hamurwa health center IVs. They were constructed and equipped five years ago to handle minor surgery and reduce congestion at Kabale Regional Referral hospital.
However, despite being equipped with the basic equipment, the theatres have remained closed because of lack of doctors. Benon Tushabomwe, the officer in charge of Hamurwa health Centre IV says that their theatre is fully equipped to handle minor operations but they don’t have doctors to operate on patients.
Tushabomwe says that as a result they refer patients in need of surgery especially expectant mothers to Kabale regional referral hospital. Dr Patrick Tusiime, the Kabale district medical officer says that ideally each of the health center IVs needs two medical doctors but there is none.
Dr Tusiime is the only doctor in Kabale, who also doubles as the district Medical Officer. He says that the availed medical officers cannot handle any surgery because only qualified doctors are permitted to handle operations. Dr Tusiime says that they have tried to convince doctors to take up assignment at the health centers in vain because of low pay and location of the facility.
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He says that they need about 15 doctors in Kabale to ease congestion at Kabale referral hospital alone.
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Christine Akrut, the Principal nursing officer Kabale regional referral hospital says the absence of doctors at the health center IVs has piled pressure on referral. She explains even patients with minor cases end up at the referral hospital yet their cases would have been addressed at the health center.