Digital Assessment Tool launched by Health Ministry to keep private health facilities in check

The Ministry of Health has created an online system to enable private health facilities across the country periodically conduct self-assessments to determine compliance with quality health service delivery. 

Digital Assessment Tool launched by Health Ministry to keep private health facilities in check
Story by Mukama Evart \

The Ministry of Health has created an online system to enable private health facilities across the country periodically conduct self-assessments to determine compliance with quality health service delivery. 

According to Dr Henry Mwebesa the Director General of Health Services, the system called Self-Regulatory Quality Improvement System (SQIS), has a checklist of key areas including the cadre of health workers employed, the infrastructure in a certain facility and how often they are serviced, customer care, records keeping in addition to management among others.

Dr Mwebesa says facilities are expected to fill in the assessment tool at least twice each year to check if they are still giving quality services. This he says will be voluntary for the meantime as they roll it countrywide. 

The Registrar of the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Council (UMDPC) that regulates private hospitals Dr Katumba Ssentongo says that after filling in the assessment tool, a certificate of compliance is issued which facilities are expected to print out and hang at their receptions to show they went through the process.

He says that this doesn’t mean compliance inspectors will no longer visit to verify if what is in the database reflects what is on the ground. For the council to renew a facility’s license, they will need to have ticked 80 per cent of the checklist. 

This tool has been in development since 2016 whereby they at first came up with a paper-based checklist which they piloted in Kampala and got feedback which has been used to develop a comprehensive tool which can even be accessed via mobile phone to feed into the database at the ministry. 

Dr Ian Clarke says this tool comes in handy as the ministry has always been struggling with data for private health facilities yet surveys have shown up to 45 per cent of Ugandans seek services in private facilities. However, officials attending the launch called for a similar tool to be used by government health facilities since there too are loopholes in service delivery. 

Mwebesa noted that there’s already an assessment system that helps them keep track of what is happening in the government facilities.


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