Monday, April 20, 2015

Uganda to import Indian doctors



Although some Ugandans and donors are opposed to a new proposal by government to export almost 300 healthcare workers to Trinidad and Tobago, the Prime Minister has applauded India’s proposal to bring specialised doctors into the country.
“We are ready as government to fly in as many as possible excellent doctors from India to reinforce our heart surgeons and boost the heart surgery in the country,” said Dr Ruhakana Rugunda.
Dr Rugunda was responding to a proposal by the Indian Association in Uganda (IAU) to bring into the country a team of expert heart surgeons to support the Uganda Heart Institute of Mulago.
This was during IAU’s annual cerebrations dedicated to the heart surgery Programme last Friday.
Mr Dave Chirag, the IAU chairperson, told the Prime Minister that they plan to bring heart surgeons to Uganda on a periodic basis to train, reinforce and help manage some of the patients’ complications that would require them to fly to India to be treated.
The request
“We propose to be allowed to periodically bring in heart surgeons from India to work on some of the patients’ heart complications that do not need to be flown to India,” Mr Chirag asked.
“We also requested government to give us land along Entebbe Road so that we erect an ultra-modern hospital, but that proposal has not been considered yet,” he added.
Mr Chirag further observed that since IAU started the heart surgery support programme, patients numbers has hit a record 240 and that the figure keeps increasing every time they call for applications.
Dr Rugunda, however, said government has plenty of land ready to give to any serious investor from India, if they will only put up an ultra-modern hospital. He said government was also in talks with the Aga Khan Foundation to construct a modern health training university in Uganda.
THE BACKGROUND
According to the Institute of Public Policy Research Uganda, the country has a health worker to population ratio of 1:1,298 against the WHO recommended average of 1:439. The doctor-patient ratio, on the other hand, stands at 1:24,725 while there is one nurse for every 11,000 according to the Ministry of Finance budget monitoring briefing paper for June 2013.

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