Acute Doctor Shortage Plagues Bududa Hospital

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In short
An acute shortage of medical staff at Bududa Main Hospital is putting the life of hundreds of people at risk.

An acute shortage of medical workers has hit Bududa Main Hospital putting the lives of hundreds of patients at risk. Hamza Kabale, the Bududa Hospital Senior Administrator says the staffing level at the hospital is far below the national average.

He says currently the staffing level is at 47%. He says they have only two newly graduated doctors and only about 30 percent of the required nurses required for a facility of its size. Kabale says Bududa Hospital however has 100% the number of nursing assistants- the lowest cadre in the health policy ranking.
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He says the available medical workers are over stretched because of the high number of patients and extra responsibilities. Kabale says the work load compromises the quality of services being offered to the public.
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Kabale identified some of the worst affected department as X-Ray which is currently operated a member of staff from another department.  The x-ray machine was donated to Bududa Hospital by the Japanese Government about a few years ago. On serious cases that needs x-ray services, patients are referred to Mbale regional referral hospital.
He says the hospital does not have a radiographer, after the only one who was there abandoned the hospital for greener pastures elsewhere.
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The situation at Bududa Hospital is made worse with the fact that the hospital is being managed by unqualified staff. In addition to lack of sufficient staff Bududa Hospital is run by a registered nurse, who appointed after the medical superintendent resigned citing political pressure. The 100-bed hospital that was established in 1969 serves hundreds of residents from Bududa, Manafwa, Sironko, Lwakhakha in the neighboring Kenya.

Located at the middle of the slopes of the four hills, the structures at Bududa Hospital looks deserted save for the new building of the out-patient department and theater that were constructed by the government of Japan. The maternity and female wards were also recently renovated.


About the author

Denis Olaka
Denis Olaka is the URN bureau chief for Lira, in northern Uganda. Apac and Otuke fall under his docket. Olaka has been a URN staff member since 2011.

Olaka started his journalism career in 2000 as a news reporter, anchor, and then editor for Radio Lira in Lira district. He was subsequently an editor with Lira's Radio Wa in 2004 and Gulu district's Mega FM.

He was also a freelance writer for the Daily Monitor and Red Pepper newspapers.

Olaka's journalism focuses on politics, health, agriculture and education. He does a lot of crime reporting too.