The parliamentary Committee on Education and Sports is concerned about the delay by the education and sports ministry to release funds for the establishment of Busitema University Medical School in Mbale. The committee argues that the establishment of the university campus in Mbale is long overdue. Jacob Richards Opolot, the committee vice chairperson of the committee blames the delay on the change of policy by the Education ministry and the accreditation program by the National Council for Higher Education.
He wonders why the project has stalled yet it was approved by parliament in 2007 to enable medical students have practicals and internship at Mbale Regional Referral Hospital. He warns that the acute doctor shortage in the greater Eastern and Northern Regions may persist if government fails to fund the project this year. Opolot observed that Busitema University Medical School will play a very pivotal role in addressing doctor’s shortage in the region should it open soon. He stressed the need to lobby for financial support from development partners for the establishment of the campus immediately.
Opolot has promised to lead the committee members to meet President Museveni and lobby for his intervention should the line ministry fail to pronounce itself over the matter in two weeks time. Nakayenze Connie Galiwango, the Mbale District Woman MP wonders why the project has dragged on this long. Elizabeth Gabona, the commissioner for Higher Education declined to comment on the matter referring URN to the university administration since the the Ministry does not handle the University’s budget.
Prof. Mary Okwakol, the university Vice Chancellor told press on Friday that they have all that matters, adding that they will try to ensure the program starts this July. She said they need about 7.5 billion shillings to start with Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and Bachelor of Science in Nursing.