Uganda has an acute shortage of oil and gas-related healthcare services, officials told a gathering in Kampala last week.
The Health Ministry has reportedly tabled a bill before cabinet in which it seeks to buffer private healthcare infrastructure and human resource development that meets the needs of the oil and gas industry.
“An assessment of the healthcare services in Uganda revealed that there is a wide in healthcare services that meets the oil and gas sector standards especially in the Albertine Graben … which calls for our immediate response,” Health Minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said during the Oil and Gas Health Conference organized by The Petroleum Authority of Uganda [PAU].
Health Conference organized together with @PAU_Uganda under the theme “Health investment opportunities in the oil and gas sector”
👉🏾Public Private Partnerships are key to influence the growth and integration of oil and gas and the health sector #PAUHealthConf2019 pic.twitter.com/05TL1dLyIq
— Ministry of Health- Uganda (@MinofHealthUG) July 5, 2019
The government is calling on the private sector to fill the medical shortage, Minister Aceng said, intimating that those interested in such opportunities need to first go and benchmark in the Albertine Graben in order to make an informed decision.
“We welcome discussions with the Private Sector for a potential engagement. There is a Public-Private Policy for Health to guide our actions following a bill enacted by Parliament of Uganda,” she said.
PAU officials also reiterated that Public-Private Partnerships are a proven and efficient approach to health investment, noting that as the country goes into development and production phases of the Petroleum Value Chain, there is likely huge influx of people in to the Albertine Graben.
“At the peak of oil production, we expect more than 13000 workers in Tilenga and Kingfisher oil development areas who will need health services … currently, we do not have enough facilities,” PAU National Content Manager Betty Namubiru said.
Joint Venture Partners [JVC], the consortium of companies developing Uganda’s oilfields for commercial production including; Total, CNOOC and Tullow Oil Plc have also decried the absence of emergency response medical services and adequate healthcare with only a few years shy the much awaited first oil.
Total has since contracted Remote Medical International, a Washington-based firm to provide such services during development and production.
The Executive Director of Private Sector Foundation [PSF] Uganda, Gideon Badagawa tasked government to create a conducive environment for private investment in order to not only meet the needs of the oil and gas industry.
“The private and public sector must work together if Ugandans are going to benefit from this oil with each party doing its part,” he said.
PAU Executive director Ernest Rubondo urged Ugandan entrepreneurs to plan and organize in order to meet the strict global standards of the industry.