Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng has asked District Health Officers (DHOs) to re-think and double their commitment at work if they are to transform Uganda’s health sector.
Aceng urged the DHOs to always coordinate with their juniors since they are the people on the ground (Hospital and other district health facilities).
She was speaking to about 120 DHOs during a two-day retreat in Entebbe. The retreat was aimed at improving the performance of DHOs as they champion the stewardship of health service delivery in their respective districts. It was supported by the Ministry of Health with the support of Governance, Accountability Participation and Performance (GAPP) programme.
Also at the meeting were top managers of the Ministry of Health and some directors of regional referral hospitals.
Aceng said challenges may not cease to occur but loving what they are doing will help them to see more results.
“We need to see each challenge as a chance of us to perfect our work, we can only do this if we love our job as health professionals because the country lies in our hands,” said Aceng.
The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health Dr Diana Atwine, also appealed to the DHOs to make patients their central focus if they are to address the challenges facing the sector as highlighted in the client satisfaction survey report 2018.
“Let’s also focus on accountability of finances, medicines as well as putting more emphasis on support supervision. If we do this we shall have set an example to other ministries,” said Atwine.
The retreat ended with some recommendations which the minister promised to work upon.
These included the need to streamline the reporting line of the DHOs as opposed to serving two masters as well as conclude and submit a Cabinet paper on re-centralization.
Similarly, the leaders concluded that senior health leaders who fall under Public Service salary scales of private should be centralized back to the Ministry of Health in a phased manner.
To bring an end to inadequate performance, the senior health leaders chose to develop result areas with measurable outputs for DHOs and with a focus on accountability for results.
To address weak monitoring and evaluation, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Public Service have been tasked to strengthen central and Regional Referral Hospitals’ support to the districts.