In order to improve the working environment for employees at Butabika National Referral Hospital, the government of Uganda is planning to put in place a modern housing facility.
Executive Director Dr David Basangwa, told East African Business Week that, “The government has already allocated funds for this activity which is part of the hospitals’ capital development activities. The government has been supportive to Butabika Hospital when it comes to capital development activities this has supported the improvement in service delivery at the health facility” He explained.
He noted that those offering health services at Butabika Hospital need to be residing near the facility due to the nature of the patients who need much care from the facility at all times.
The construction of the staff accommodation facilities is expected to cost the government about UGX 1.2 billion depending on the procurement and tendering process. Basangwa said that the procurement process for the construction of the 3-floor structure is ongoing.
“We are done with inviting bids for the project. Soon, the technical people from the procurement department will commence scrutinizing the bidding documents; when the process is done then the best bidder will be awarded the contract to construct the structure,” he explained.
Demand for mental health services
On access to mental health services in the country, the executive director said the demand for the services has gone up due to the massive sensitization the hospital has been carrying out countrywide, plus the closure of Mulago Hospital for rehabilitation.
He said on daily basis Butabika Hospital handles about 750 out-patients and about 500 inpatients which he said has budget implications to the hospital.
“Butabika Hospital is overpopulated but we cannot blame the public because some still do not know that mental health services were decentralized by the Ministry of Health and can now be accessed from all the regional referral hospitals around the country,” he advised.
Dr Basangwa noted that although there are very few specialized psychiatric experts in the country, the government, through the Ministry of Health, has tried to recruit clinicians and nurses who can offer mental health services both at the regional referral hospitals and at district health centres countrywide.
Some of the Regional Referral Hospitals where the general public can get mental health services are Fort Portal Regional Referral Hospital, Masaka Regional Referral Hospital, Mbale Regional Referral Hospital, Arua and Kabale Regional Referral, among other Hospitals.