Government investigating Private Health Centres over absurd costs for COVID-19 treatment

Posted: 2021-06-18T09:29:04Z
Government investigating Private Health Centres over absurd costs for COVID-19 treatment

The ministry of health has tasked the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council-UMDPC to investigate claims that hospitals are charging Ugandans over 5 Million Shillings for treatment. 


The Minister for Health Dr. Ruth Aceng on Thursday noted that it is unacceptable for private facilities to charge COVID-19 patients 5 million Shillings daily for admission and treatment.


The development follows media reports in the last few days indicating that some private facilities are charging patients between 2 million and 5 million Shillings daily for admission, intensive care unit costs such as oxygen consumption among other items. 


This, prompted Ugandans to seek help from the health ministry to intervene because most of public health facilities where COVID-19 treatment is free are filling up very fast due to the surging number of critical cases. 


While speaking to journalists on Thursday evening, the Minister said that the health ministry has noted these concerns and hence asked the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council-UMDPC to investigate the claims and see what can be done to reduce the costs.


According to Dr Katumba Ssentongo the registrar Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council (UMDPC), the Council has been notified of the issue and will be meeting today - Friday to discuss the way forward.


Dr. Aceng protested the absurd charges  after receiving 175,200 doses of the AstraZenca Vaccine from the French government. The handover ceremony took place at the National Medical Stores Head offices in Entebbe on Thursday.


The new doses bring to 1, 139,200, the number of COVID-19 doses received in the country. The first two batches, totaling 964,000 doses arrived in the country in March and are expected to expire by July 10th, 2021.  


She noted that the latest batch of doses will be given to teachers and workers in schools, health workers, the elderly, those who have underlying conditions such as diabetes and hypertension and also people who are due for their second jab.