By Twesigye Aggrey
Inadequate service delivery, limited space among other complaints which have for long been raised at the Uganda’s biggest government facility, Mbarara Referral Hospital could soon become history.
This as government continue to assure the public that the hospital will soon be upgraded and become a national referral hospital.
Dr Henry Mwebesa, the Director General of Health services at the ministry of Health is the latest person to add his voice on the need to upgrade the facility which has been in the news for performing high risk surgeries among other specialized services amidst tough hardships.
Dr Mwebesa made the revelations during a joint assessment of the facility by the university council led by Dr Warren Namara who doubles as the head of statehouse monitoring unit boss and Dr Celestine Barigye the Mbarara Referral Hospital boss.
According to Dr Mwebesa, plans to make Mbarara Referral Hospital a national referral hospital started a few years back when the president open the complex building that houses most of the operating theaters.
Now, he was quoted to have said that it would take about few years for government to put up storied buildings and demolish old structures.
Dr Celestine Barigye, the Mbarara Referral Hospital boss said that the hospital apparently has about 40 specialized services that can’t be found in other hospitals of the same caliber.
The move to declare Mbarara Referral Hospital a national referral hospital according to Dr Barigye will see it’s budget increased to enable them run the services smoothly.
Dr Gad Ruzaaza, a renown medical researcher at Mbarara University of Science and technology who’s part of the assessment team described Dr Barigye as a transformational leader adding that alot has changed through his leadership.
He was speaking with reference to the new infectious diseases treatment center that was put during COVID-19 pandemic adding that its a decent facility that can’t be found in most public and private treatment centers.
Halson Kagure, the Mbarara Referral Hospital Public Relations Officer said that top government officials including Dr Diana Atwine have made ground visits to assess the progress of the hospital.
Kagure said that apparently the hospital is equipped with two laboratories with the latest one being Histopathology and Research Laboratories recently commissioned by the PS Ministry of Health Dr Diana & USAID Mission Director Mr Richard Nelson to boost diagnostic services in the country.
Dr Warren Namara, the MUST chair council who doubles as SHMU boss admitted to the fact that Mbarara Referral Hospital has gone through vigorous transformations though hampered by limited space.
As a solution, he pledged to lobby for the acquisition of more land with the support of both hospital & university members.
Sources reveal that initially, Mbarara Referral Hospital possessed enough land that was encroached by neighbors.
For instance, another source that declined to be quoted said that it’s a shame to see that Mbarara Referral Hospital gave birth to Mbarara University of Science and technology that has since experienced exponential growth leaving the hospital constant.
In response Dr Namara said that some faculties of Mbarara university can be moved to Kihumuro campus to pave way to hospital expansion.
Mbarara Referral Hospital serves the catchment area of 13 districts but it’s unique location has seen it handle referrals from all refugee resettlement camps, other Referral Hospitals in the region, Tanzania, DRC, Rwanda and Burundi.
The hospital sees over 5m patients that end up scrambling for little resources planned for a smaller population but if made a national referral, health analysts believe it will have solved alot of complaints.