The Ministry of Health has merged or scrapped poor-performing departments and technical working committees after an audit by researchers at Makerere University under the Center for Rapid Evidence Synthesis (ACRES) program found wastage.
According to Dr. Martin Ssendyoona, the Head of Department, Standards and Quality Assurance at the ministry says while there are public service structures that guide mandates by Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs), the report they received from the academics shows committees were not meeting and some officials were not clear on their roles and responsibilities.
Prof. Nelson Sewankambo, a researcher at Makerere University said that while ACRES pushes for using evidence to guide action, they found no proper documentation of activities, and in the committees, holding individuals accountable was hard because there is no proper leadership to know that this is the committee chairperson or this is the secretary.
With the new governance and management structures guidelines launched now, Ssendyoona says they resolved to reduce technical working groups from fifteen to now twelve. Also, he says the department of non-communicable diseases has been merged with that of communicable and officials have given proper guidelines on their individual roles.
The Department of Health Promotion and Education has been merged with that of community health.
However, Dr. Henry Mwebesa, the Director General of Health Services says this is not the first time reviewing of the ministry’s top management is happening. He says with periodic reviews in clinical guidelines and the emergence of new infections, they need to review each one’s contribution to the various technical working groups and what needs to be strengthened in addition to what is creating money wastages without reasonable returns.
Mwebesa refused to reveal how many individuals or departments have been affected by the latest review but said researchers found some of the technical working groups to be duplicating work that is already assigned to other groups. These are now rendered jobless. URN