What do these nuns want in our hospital? How stakeholders perceive religious sisters in Uganda
Najjuka, Justina Liliana Lucy Geraldine
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The Church in general claims a role in the provision of health care, being to continue the healing mission of Christ. However, the role of religious congregations in that mission has not been investigated in Uganda. Many congregations of religious women work in the health sector in various responsibilities. The study investigates the perceptions of the stakeholders of Catholic hospitals about Sisters working in their hospitals and the perceptions of the Sisters themselves. It also investigates the managerial practices in this important health sub-sector in Uganda. It finds that the stakeholders expect a lot from the Sisters, ranging from clinical provision of care to praying for the patients. Sisters engage in a number of activities in the hospitals and have wide-ranging powers. A number of basic managerial requirements like terms of reference on appointment and inclusion on the organisational structure are not implemented thus breeding potential conflict in the hospitals. The Sisters are not involved much in the spiritual life of the patients. The ownership of the hospitals is also not clarified, thus leading to further misunderstanding of the roles of the Sisters. It is recommended that the stakeholders hold regular joint meetings to define the hospital structures and to review their performance, as well as improving managerial procedures like recruitment and posting of staff, and increasing the Sisters' participation in the spiritual care of the patients.