Health Ministry Clarifies on Kilembe Mines Hospital issue

The Ministry of Health has clarified on the deactivation of Kilembe Mines Hospital from the list of facilities that qualify for essential medicines and health supplies.

In a statement issued Thursday, the Health Ministry Senior Public Relations Officer, Emmanuel Ainebyoona, says that the tripartite agreement between the ministry of health, Kilembe mines hospital, and Uganda Catholic Medical bureau-UCMB expired in May 2022 and it has not yet been renewed.

He explains that currently there is no financial obligation from the ministry to Kilembe Mines Hospital. The Hospital has been recieving about 354 million Shillings annually from the health ministry. Ainebyoona noted that the Ministry of Health is planning to construct a public health center IV in Bulembia division to ensure access to health care in that catchment area. 

On December 2, 2022, the Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Diana Atwine communicated the decision to deactivate Kilembe Mines Hospital from the list of facilities that receive essential medicines and health supplies. She said the facility had failed to utilize funds for essential medicines and health supplies during the first quarter of the financial year 2022/23 covering the period between July and September 2022.    

She subsequently asked the Executive Director of Joint Medical Stores to deactivate Kilembe Mines Hospital and directed that the money that was being allocated to the facility be reallocated to other facilities at HC III, HC IV, and hospital levels in both in Kasese district and Kasese municipality.

The decision to deactivate the hospital didn’t go down well with the residents and local leaders. On Monday, police foiled a demonstration by residents of Bulembia division and surrounding areas in Kasese Municipality protesting the decision to withdraw the credit line for medical supplies. 

The residents said Kilembe hospital is the only big health facility serving over eight sub-counties in the hard-to-reach areas. Local leaders have vowed to continue advocating for the re-establishment of the facility in the area.

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