THE Government is committed to funding and supporting private hospitals because of the vital role they play. This was contained in President Yoweri Museveni's message read for him by agriculture minister Tress Bucyanayandi during celebrations to mark the golden jubilee of Karoli Lwanga Hospital, Nyakibale in Rukungiri municipality recently.
The hospital was established in 1963 by the Franciscan Sisters of Bred from Netherlands through Kabale Catholic Diocese.
Museveni praised the Church for supporting the government in the provision of health and education services.
"The best health facilities and schools are those that were founded by the Church. I want to pledge that Government will keep supporting them for their good services," he said.
The President particularly thanked the Bishop of Kabale Diocese, the Rt. Rev. Callist Rubaramira, for his exemplary leadership since he became bishop of the diocese. The diocese covers districts of Rukungiri, Kisoro, Kanungu and Kabale.
Museveni also warned that when the Government introduced free anti-retroviral drugs, people started behaving recklessly.
"You must know that there is no cure for AIDS and even the drugs we are giving to prolong the lifespan of people living with the disease are very expensive. You must stop looking for AIDS so that the Government can embark on other developments," he said.
The President wondered why AIDS is increasing among the married.
"Why don't you be faithful to your partner and practise zero-grazing since you are aware that there is an enemy outside waiting to attack you?" he asked.
Earlier on, the hospital superintendent, Dr. Ronald Kasyaba, had said that government support to the hospital has decreased tremendously over the years. He said that primary healthcare conditional grant that hospital received has decreased from 39.8% in the year 2002 to 11.8% in 2012.
He added that it is not easy to retain the health workers AT the hospital because the Government pays them better.