National, News

Doctors decry low health budget

By Bida Elly David

Doctors Union of South Sudan is urging the national parliament to increase health spending in the new fiscal year budget.

Doctors said they have witnessed direct strain on healthcare systems due to inadequate funding, which has resulted in poor patient care.

Dr. Anthony Garang, the acting chairperson of the union, said the rate of mortality across the Country is high due to a lack of professional medical personnel and good health centers.

“You have seen the rate of maternal and child mortality. Women are dying during delivery because of the distance to the health centers,” he cited.

Dr. Anthony also linked the high mortality rate to untrained medical officers employed to treat innocent patients.

“They die because of the distance between the health centers and the health cadres that are not found when they arrive at the health facilities. The health cadres are not trained,” Anthony lamented.

Anthony was speaking during a public hearing of the 2023–2024 fiscal year budget in Parliament.

He underscored that health facilities across the try rely on community health workers who can’t take care of citizens during critical medical cases.

Recently, the official population of South Sudan was estimated at 12 million.

Anthony the ideal doctors’ population ratio was supposed to be 3 doctors per patient, but it is not the case in the country.

“There are fewer doctors that are there for the 12 million people. This calls for an increment in the health budget so that we produce more doctors and specialists so that we reach the last mile,” he appealed.

Last year, the healthy sector was allocated a budget of 7.9 percent of the national allocation.

But Dr. Anthony said it was spent only on institutions such as operations of the Ministry but not programs to cater for the citizens of this Country.

The medic noted that the Country relies only on donors.

“What donors give us is not enough for the people. There are no medicines, the government does not buy drugs, and citizens are dying of diseases and sicknesses due to the poor health condition of this Country,” he noted.

He said that remuneration for medical personnel is still a lingering scenario for the government, stating that doctors are financially unsupported.

“We need to invest in training more doctors, nurses, midwives, and pharmacists so that they give you quality services to mitigate poor health services in this country,” he said.


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