Arua Hospital Turns Away Two Nurses Due To Staff Ceiling Anomaly

The West Nile MPs led by Jackson Atima (centre) inspecting the maternity ward



Arua regional referral hospital has turned away two enrolled nurses posted by the health service commission due to an anomaly in the staff ceiling.

Suzan Tabu the in charge of maternity ward described the decision to turn away the nurses as a setback since they are grappling with overwhelming workload due to insufficient number of staff.

“I was very disappointed when the Ministry sent us two nurses and we turned them away and yet there’s scarcity of human resource worsened by increasing cases of emergencies,” Tabu explained.

At least 25 to 30 mothers deliver at Arua referral hospital maternity ward each day.

Tabu lamented that the staffing gap has made it difficult for them to attend to all the mothers, especially during emergencies.

She made the revelation to the Members of parliament from the region who visited the hospital over the weekend.

Hospital officials said that despite having attained the status of a regional referral hospital way back in 1996, Arua hospital’s staff ceiling has remained at the level of a district hospital.

Tabu said in the maternity ward, there are seven midwifes who are deployed one at a time during the three shifts.

“We needed to be at least 15 midwifes so that you could have two to three midwifes or nurses for every shift,” she said.

Hospital director, Dr Filbert Nyeko, while explaining the challenge to the MPs said the issue of opening or increasing the staff ceiling is beyond the referral Hospital.

“We cannot continue adding staff because when we add one nurse we are supposed to put into the Human Resource System and it will tell you you are adding again? You cannot add again because the system is full, so, until that space is opened up you cannot add anymore” Dr Nyeko said

In the meantime, the hospital is relying on student nurses from Arua School of comprehensive nursing and midwifery and the Muni University.

Rose Obigah, Woman Member of Parliament for Terego district, said the apparent failure to get more nurses to work at Arua regional referral hospital is an urgent matter that needs immediate attention looking at the pain mothers are feeling in the maternity ward due to less attention.

“We need the copies of the documents you (the hospital management) submitted to the ministry of public service so that we can follow-up the matter as a team,” Obigah requested

Jackson Lee Atima, MP for Arua Central Division who led the team of legislator during the visit to the hospital promised that the MPs would prioritize the issue and seek for a resolution with relevant bodies.

“It is good that some of us are in the health committee of the parliament, we want the hospital director to be open and share any information that is slowing down service delivery in this facility which help all of us so that an appropriate decision is taken,” Atima said.

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