I read with dismay the story, ‘Mulago to be split into 5 hospitals’ in Daily Monitor of May 8. According to the story, Mulago National Referral Hospital, Mulago National Specialised Hospital and Mulago Specialised Maternal and Neonational Hospitals are to be created out of the current Mulago hospital. In my opinion, this is ridiculous as it is merely a window dressing exercise other than for purposes of improving service delivery.
While we are still grappling with strikes for a fair pay for the few healthy workers in the hospitals, and we are failing to procure all the essential drugs and sundries for the one Mulago hospital, how can we even think of having five Mulagos? While the commander is complaining of a small army, some irrational individuals are proposing to eliminate all the elderly. Is that sensible? Can someone explain to the nation how the renovations made have increased space to accommodate three hospitals at Mulago. How about the human resource? Are the Cuban doctors going to fill the gaps?
Have our planners thought about the administrative expenses that will more than triple as a result of creating these new administrative units? Is that the best alternative in spending the already shrinking budget of the Ministry of Health? Clearly, some people seem to be building their own empires and this will come with a host of problems that have bedevilled public service in this country.
If we do not even have enough doctors for one Mulago hospital, are we making a logical decision in splitting Mulago into five independent units. Besides, has this proposal been discussed by Parliament or the Cabinet given that the matter has a lot of political, financial and social implications.
When you see the contradictions, confusion and uncertainty among the proponents of the proposed split, you see a failed and unresearched policy decision. What a pity for our people and the country.
My view is that Mulago hospital can operate as a single unit with different departments as it has been in the past. Government can enhance performance through providing sufficient funds to the different departments, procure sufficient drugs and sundries for the doctors to use, and ensure that all the equipment for management of patients are supplied.
Short of doing this, the five proposed hospitals will still not be effective just like Mulago hospital isa today.