22 December 2012

Uganda: Govt Closes 100 Substandard Health Facilities

Do you ever consider the academic qualifications of the health practitioner at the health facility where you go for treatment when your body system is down?

According to the Allied Health Professionals Council (AHPC), 70% of the health practitioners in the private health facilities are quacks.

Speaking at the end of year party for the council members at Ridar Hotel, Seeta in Mukono District, AHPC registrar Patrick Mpiima said the health system on ground is pathetic because of the increase in the number of quack health practitioners.

"The quacks get the fake academic transcripts from substandard training institutions which are springing up in different parts of the country," Mpiima said.

He revealed that since August, the council has discovered 40 quack practitioners with forged academic transcripts and 21 with forged AHPC registration certificates.

"The council in conjunction with the Police has so far arrested six persons in connection with the forgeries and two have already appeared in court," he said.

Mpiima noted that 52% of the quacks are laboratory persons, who test blood samples for malaria, HIV and other diseases followed by clinical officers at 31%.

"There has been an outcry about lack of adequate skills exhibited by the graduates from training institutions most especially for medical laboratory assistants. In response, the council carried out inspections of 30 institutions to determine their suitability to train professionals," he said,

Following the inspections, Mpima said, they blacklisted some of the unfit training institutions and made recommendations to the Ministry of Education to close them.

He cited some of the institutions, which included Chemquip Medical laboratory Training Schools of Wakiso and Bushenyi Districts, Kyobe Medical Laboratory Training School, Mukono, Sir Albert Cook Medical Laboratory Training School, Tororo and St. Martin Institute of Health Sciences, Hoima.

He also revealed that in the last five months, the council has closed over 100 substandard health facilities across the country.

"These facilities were closed due to poor hygiene, non display of licenses, practicing outside the scope of training and impersonation by nursing assistants and laboratory attendants," Mpiima added.

The chief guest at the party, Dr. Isaac Ezati, the director of health services in charge of planning and development in the Ministry of Health tasked the Council to harmonise the training of health practitioners in Uganda to match that in the other East African Community member states.

Ezati said harmonization of the training system would enable health practitioners in Uganda to move to other member states for work. During the function, the council awarded certificates of recognition to its best employees of the year.

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