Mulago National Referral Hospital Director, Prof. BB Byarugaba, has shocked Members on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) with details about staffing gaps the hospital faces, which he presented to the Committee.
Prof. Byarugaba told the Committee that the hospital suffers staff shortage of 324 people yet they now stand at 1,842.
When further probed by the Committee Vice-Chairperson and lead counsel, Hon Gerald Karuhanga (Ntungamo Municipality) about their plans to fill the staffing gaps, Prof Byarugaba revealed that they have already submitted to the Ministry of Public Service a comprehensive plan to enhance the national referral hospital’s human resource.
“We have submitted a request to enhance the staff to 3,024 from the current 1,842 although the Ministry [Public Service] has granted 166 at present,” said Prof Byarugaba. He asked Parliament to intervene in closing the human resource gap for better services.
The team from the National Referral Hospital was appearing before the Committee to respond to several queries raised by the Auditor General on their reports for the Financial Year 2012/2013.
In a twist of events, the Committee also grilled former Mulago Hospital Accountant and Kachumbala County Member of Parliament, Hon. Patrick Isiagi Opolot, for not disclosing over Shs1.2 billion said to have been collected from the Private Patients Scheme during his tenure as Accountant.
“You did not disclose over Shs1.2 billion from the Private Patients Scheme, a matter you must explain,” said Hon. Karuhanga.
Hon. Isiagi, who was earlier hesitant to respond to the queries citing short notice and the abrasive style of the Committee Lead Counsel explained that “If you disclose it [the 1.2 billion shillings], the hospital loses money from the Treasury to the tune of Shs1.2 billion because the money was not yet paid by the time of compiling the report.”
Committee Chairperson, Hon. Angeline Osegge (Soroti), blamed the hospital Accounting Officer and his team for being ‘careless’ with funds meant for suffering patients.