Holy Family Virika Hospital is a Private Not-For-Profit (PNFP) hospital owned by the Catholic Diocese of Fort-Portal, and is located 2 km away from Fort-Portal town, on the Fort-Portal Kasese road, in Kabarole District, Western Uganda. It has a bed Capacity of 155, and provides services to patients not only from Kabarole District, but also from the districts of Kasese, Bundibugyo, Kamwenge, Kyenjojo, and Kibaale. It acts functionally as a referral hospital.
Background & Brief History of the Hospital
Holy Family Virika Hospital was founded in 1911 as a dispensary by the White Sisters (Sisters of Our Lady of Africa) and gradually developed into a hospital. In 1962 the hospital was handed over to the Medical Mission Sisters who expanded the facilities and established the Virika School of Nursing. The Medical Mission Sisters handed over the hospital to the Diocese of Fort-Portal in 1975, and the diocese entrusted the management of the hospital to the Banyatereza Sisters (Daughters of Saint Thereza of the Child Jesus). In February 1994 Virika hospital was badly damaged by the earthquake that hit the area sparing only 5% of the buildings. Reconstruction of the hospital started a year later in 1995, and lasted another five years. During the reconstruction years the hospital remained operational, using the Bishop McCauley Hall. Since the surviving building was a theatre, the hospital continued to serve to about 50% its capacity. In 2002 Virika School of Nursing started the Enrolled Comprehensive curriculum, becoming one of the few schools in the country offering this new course. In 2004 the hospital opened another education unit, Bishop Magambo Counsellor Training Institute which runs certificate, diploma, and Master of Arts programs accredited by Uganda Martyrs University.
When the newly “earthquake resistant” hospital was opened on March 15th 2002, it became obvious that the hospital was going towards a serious crisis due to, among other factors, weak governance and management capacities and systems which combined with an increasing debt could lead to a possible closure of the facility. The consultancy provided by UCMB led to a decision by the diocese to reorganize the management of the hospital. The reorganization exercise was started in 2002. This exercise culminated into the 2003 signing of the memorandum of understanding between the Diocese and the Banyatereza Sisters who were contracted for four managerial positions. Another historical outcome of the reorganization was the formulation and subsequent launching of the hospital constitution and employment manual on June 29, 2004.
Virika hospital offers the following services:
- Any other Auxiliary services as approved by the BOG that do not contradict the RCC ethical code of conduct and laws of Uganda.
To promote life to the full through provision of Holistic care and training of quality health professionals with consideration to the less privileged in fulfilment of the mission Jesus Christ.
In order to implement its mission and policy as stated above, Holy Family Virika Hospital shall strive towards the following goals:
Holy family Virika Hospital shall endeavour to take into account in all its services the spiritual, psychological, social, and physical dimensions of the person. In this perspective, the Hospital considers the promotion of health and the prevention of disease as an integral part of its mission. It will allocate adequate resources to these services for its established target population. The active involvement of the communities, the political and religious leaders, church organisations and catholic schools shall be pursued in the promotion of health of the population.
Equity and Sustainability
Holy Family Virika Hospital shall aim at providing quality services and at making them accessible to the target population of its established area of responsibility, especially the less privileged. It will do this through:
- Efficient management of resources;
- Quality, friendly and compassionate services;
- Using its surplus (if any) to improve the services;
- Being accountable and transparent;
- Establishing partnership with other stakeholders (government, NGOs, funding organisations).
- Any other elicit strategies
Integration in the National and District health system
Virika Hospital will operate as part of the National and Local District health systems. To this effect, it accepts the responsibilities attached to its role as a General hospital. The package of curative, preventive and promotional services, activities and support sections will be in accordance with the responsibilities for Virika Hospital’s target population and to the General hospital functions. Virika Hospital will pursue sound working relationships with the district health authorities and the health units in the area.
Professionalism and quality care
Holy Family Virika Hospital will observe the highest professional level in offering its services by employing qualified personnel, and promoting formal and in-service training of the staff. Quality care, characterised by compassion, love and friendly attitude will be the guiding principle in the delivery of services.
The training institutions of the Hospital will pursue high standards of training according to the National curriculum, Virika Hospital Mission and the RCC Ethical Code. The training and mentoring of students will aim at the development of the person as a self-responsible with a moral standard consistent with the RCC Mission in Health.
The hospital aims at providing a healing environment for the sick, their families and communities, inspired by the example of Jesus Christ and guided by the Catholic Social and Ethical teachings.
For this reason, Virika Hospital shall endeavour to achieve the following objectives:
- To provide integrated services, i.e. curative, promotive, preventive health care services to any patient that comes to Virika Hospital, in line with the National Health Policy and the Fort Portal Diocese Health Policy.
- To ensure that the services are accessible for the vulnerable and less privileged.
- To plan, budget and manage the services in a cost-effective and sustainable manner.
- To establish an effective management information system in view of improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the hospital.
- To perform the duties related to its role within Local District health system. This will be done in close co-operation with the relevant District health authorities. An annual work plan and budget will be agreed upon.
- To ensure that Virika Hospital complies each year with the accreditation criteria set by UCMB.
- To ensure the presence in the hospital of a Pastoral Clinical care team composed of religious, clergy and lay-Christians to animate the people of God gathered in the hospital.
8 To select and train the students in accordance with the national curriculum and prepare them for examinations.