The deputy speaker Thomas Tayebwa has directed Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja to resolve the impasse between the minister of health and the minister of finance that has cost the country lives. This was in today’s sitting where minister Aceng traded counter accusations with the ministry of finance for frustrating procurement of essential medical supplies in public health facilities.
While presenting a statement on the current Drug Stock in Public Health facilities across the country, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng told parliament that the crisis has been caused by the ministry of finance which has delayed the release of funds required by National Medical Stores-NMS to procure medical supplies on time. While the minister says.
Aceng noted that several engagements have been made with the ministry of finance to resolve the long-standing impasse; nothing tangible has been realized. She added that while the National Medical Stores has been giving the ministry finance red flags to get it out of the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS) which causes delays in release and relevant approvals, finance has kept a deaf ear.
Aceng told the house that NMS is grappling with the funding gaps for fuel caused by the recent escalation of fuel prices across the world. She noted that the entity is suffering from a deficit of Shs7bn on its distribution budget and many of its trucks can hardly deliver medical supplies to health facilities.
As the minister of health seeks exemptions of NMS from IFMIS systems that are blamed for delayed funding of procurement of medical supplies, the Minister of finance Henry Musasizi rejected the prayer saying NMS has to abide by the Public Finance Management Act which provides for IFMIS. He accused the entity of intentionally failing to work with the FMIS system in order to bypass accountability.
Musasizi also hit back at NMS wondering how it has failed to deliver drugs yet it has already received 60% of its budget in releases of quarter one and quarter two.
MPs expressed frustration over what they termed a politically motivated fight of Egos among the ministers responsible. These wondered how a fight of a kind could cost lives.
The impasse left parliament concerned and confused and the presiding officer Thomas Tayebwa directed the Prime Minister to resolve the dispute between the two ministries and report back to parliament tomorrow.
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