By Anne Mugisa
Uganda’s health sector is the most corrupt in the East African region, a report released by the Inspectorate of Government (IGG) has said.
The report, released to mark the International Anti-Corruption Day, said the sector is fraught with bribery and absenteeism, effectively undermining the population’s health and realisation of the Millennium Development Goals.
The report also said there were indicators that bribery remained high in the water sector, obtaining permits for investments, in the police force and in the judiciary between 2008 and 2012.
Uganda’s bribery prevalence rate in medical services is more than three times that of Kenya and almost twice that of Tanzania. Bribery in the health sector is also significantly higher than that in the education sector.
“Having a high rate of bribery introduces inefficiencies, unfairness, discrimination and unlawfulness in a critical component of the state’s responsibility of providing services and care for its population,” the report said.
“Quiet corruption in the healthcare sector is widespread. Health workers absenteeism is highest at health centre III facility level and has since increased from 46.2% in 2009/10 to 51% in 2010/11,” it added.
It also said Rwanda’s bribery rate of 0.1% sets a good example to its East African neighbours and suggests that the fight against corruption and bribery can be won.
The IGG, Justice Irene Mulyagonja, said the report was compiled using secondary data collected by the Economic Policy Research Centre, a data tracking mechanism on behalf of the inspectorate.
Mulyagonja said corruption is one of the major factors affecting governance in Africa.
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Corruption in Uganda''s health sector highest in region