ARUA. Arua regional referral hospital that has been operating without a board of governors for the past two years has finally installed new ones.
The board consists of thirteen professional health doctors, a lawyer, an engineer, health economists, pharmacist an entrepreneur and a senior health worker of ARRH.
Dr Sam Okuonzi Agatre, a former member of parliament for Vurra county is the new board chairman with the former acting director of the hospital, Dr Alex Adaku as the secretary.
Other members have been selected to represent all the eleven districts of West Nile region.
During the swearing ceremony on Friday presided over by chief magistrate of Arua, Mr Dan Lubowa, state minister in charge of primary health care, Dr Joyce Moriku said there is the need for the new board to rebuild a cordial relationship between the hospital and its stakeholders in order to rub off bad image portrayed previously.
“The hospital being in Arua does not mean that Arua district local government can take charge of everything in the hospital but it can be part of the management of the hospital basing on each person’s role in the hospital,” she said.
Moriku stressed that there is no need for stakeholders to dwell so much on the past instead of making the past challenges to make solutions for a better service to the people.
She called upon the board to define the responsibility of the various stakeholders in the management of the hospital.
She complained that failure by the government to streamline health system is creating unnecessary workload on the few doctors and nurses just because many of the lower health facilities like referring cases that they can manage and yet they have some of the specialists in place.
“As a government I think we are failing to streamline the referral system and we must admit that bitter truth because health centres also refer minor operations to the hospital”, she said.
The Speaker of Arua district council, Mr Suleiman Onduma disclosed that the hospital has had a suspicious relationship with Arua district during the previous board chaired by Mr Ezaruku Ezati, just because the district became concerned of complaints about services at the hospital.
He said the district is committed to improving stakeholder relationship with the current board so that service is improved to the people.
Arua Resident district commissioner (RDC), Mr Nahori Oya said improving health services at ARRH is one of the ways to propagate good investment for West Nile region as Arua city is soon coming.
Dr Sam Okuonzi thanked the previous board for creating a 30year master plan for the hospital which includes ways to solve land encroachment.
He said the new board will want to build the regional stakeholder relationship, lobby for more staff, sensitization of the community to understand the hospital, institute monitoring committee for quality services at the hospital, among others.
He added that the hospital has no IT personnel, a position that has never featured in recruitment demand and yet the current technology needs ICT in the health sector.
Meanwhile, the new hospital director, Dr Filbert Nyeko said the hospital is seriously in gap of specialists because out of the thirty needed, the hospital only has seven.