The Ministry of Health (MoH) is seeking Shs 129bn to enhance salaries of health workers in the next financial year.
The MoH Permanent Secretary Dr. Asuman Lukwago told journalists at Parliament this week that the money would benefit mostly health workers under the primary health care system.
Government has on several occasions been criticized for the low pay to doctors, nurses and other health workers.
Dr. Lukwago urged MPs to back the proposed ministry’s budget for the financial year 2015/2016.
“We want to increase on our salaries. We need to recruit more health workers. We have a challenge of outbreaks like Hepatitis B. These are underfunded priorities. We need to complete infrastructure, Dr. Lukwago said.
Dr. Lukwago underscored the role of interns in the healthcare system but added that the ministry finds challenges in paying them.
“Sometimes we delay paying intern doctors because they come in a big number all of a sudden,” Dr.Lukwago. Uganda produces about 300 intern doctors every year.
“We are also discussing other mechanisms, whether the interns themselves can contribute because we are handling about 800 interns all together from a mere 200,” Dr. Lugwako added.
Government is also planning to recruit 3000 health workers before the end of 2015. This is to be facilitated with Shs 5.8bn from the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, according to Dr. Lukwago.