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To what extent does recurrent government health expenditure in Uganda reflect its policy priorities?

DOI: 10.1186/1478-7547-8-19

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Abstract:

Government recurrent wage and non-wage expenditures - based on annual releases by the Uganda Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development were compiled for the period 1997/1998 to financial year 2007/2008. Additional data was obtained from a series of Ministry of Health annual health sector reports as well as other reports. Data was verified by key government officials in Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and Ministry of Health. Analysis of expenditures was done at sector level, by the different levels in the health care system and the different levels of care.There was a pronounced increase in the amount of funds released for recurrent expenditure over the review period fueled mainly by increases in the wage component. PHC services showed the greatest increase, increasing more than 70 times in ten years. At hospital level, expenditures remained fairly constant for the last 10 years with a slight reduction in the wage component.The policy aspiration of increasing spending on PHC was attained but key aspects that would facilitate its realization were not addressed. At any given level of funding for the health sector, there is need to work out an optimal balance in investment in the different inputs to ensure efficiency in health spending. Equally important is the balance in investment between hospitals and health centers. There is a need to look comprehensively at what it takes to provide PHC services and invest accordingly.The National Health policy for Uganda (NHP) 2000 - 2009 [1] emphasized that Primary Health Care (PHC) would be the main philosophy and strategy for national development and would be made operational through provision of the minimum health care package. A minimum health care package, with interventions addressing the biggest burden of diseases affecting majority of the population, would form the primary focus of the health care delivery system. The welfare of the poor was to be given special consideration. Even though

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