The Minister of Health Dr Jane Ruth Aceng has told parliament that the Ministry has a deficit of 700.9 billion shillings for Covid-19 response plan activities.
According to Aceng, out of the 1.02 trillion shillings that the Ministry had budgeted for, 322.3 billion shillings has already been committed on different activities.
The Minister was on Friday afternoon appearing before Parliament’s National Economy Committee over a recent loan request by the Ministry of Finance of 1.13 trillion from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group to the Health Sector to mitigate negative effects of Covid-19 on the economy of Uganda.
However, Aceng told the committee that out of the 1.13 trillion loan request, the Ministry of Health only has an allocation of Shillings 35 billion for masks.
She said that the deficit in funding that her ministry faces is meant for different activities including surveillance, strategic information, research and innovation, logistics, laboratory, risk communication and community engagement and others.
MPs led by the National Economy Committee Chairperson Syda Bbumba questioned whether the deficit meets the total requirement of the Health Ministry given the magnitude of the pandemic and how the Ministry planned to finance the funding gap.
Bulambuli County MP Ignatius Wamakuyu Mudimi wondered why out of the 1.13 trillion shillings loan request to parliament, the Health Ministry was receiving only 35 billion and yet it has a huge funding deficit towards Covid-19 response.
Labwor County MP Micheal Ayepa questioned why the Ministry of Health was not requesting enough money to address the sector since many hospitals are struggling with the needed supplies.
Oyam Woman MP Santa Alum also weighed in saying that her district has no single ambulance.
The State Minister of Finance for Planning David Bahati told MPs that the Ministry of Finance was currently looking at the urgent issues within the Health Sector and that other needs would be systematically looked at later.
But his response was not received well by MPs including Aswa County MP Reagan Okumu and Ruhinda North MP Thomas Tayebwa.