Bruce Kirenga Chief researcher Makerere University addressing journalists during a press conference at the Uganda media Centre on Wednesday, June 23, 2021. (Photos by Nancy Nanyonga)
Nelson Kiva
Journalist @New Vision

Dr. Joseph Okware, the director health services at the health ministry has said in the wake of the allegations that private health facilities were abnormally charging patients, Uganda Surgeon and Dental Practitioners Council was tasked with investigating the claims.

The Council is expected to report back to the National Taskforce sitting at the Office of the Prime Minister (OPM) to avail findings in regard to allegations of private health facilities charging exorbitant medical treatment fees to Covid-19 patients.

Dr.Okware told the media at Uganda Media Centre ( UMC) in Kampala on Tuesday that a free or liberalized economy didn’t mean people losing humane.

“Although it is true that we are in the liberalized economy, we did not expect this because once you are providing care you should also remain humane,” he said.

This was during a press conference convened by Makerere University together with the health and education ministries to update the media on the forthcoming World Health Summit Regional Meeting in Africa to be hosted in Kampala at Uganda Media Centre (UMC) said the team jointly formed with the education ministry will help to verify the claims and report back to government for appropriate action.

Dr.Okware said government is trying to do whatever it can to build capacity of public health facilities to treat and manage COVID-19 effectively.

“But this is work in progress because you have heard testimonies of people who have been treated at Mulago and Entebbe Grade and they have healed without paying anything,” he said.

He emphasised that government was taking the issue of overcharging patients seriously.

”And very soon you will see some of these facilities which have failed to act ethically being penalised.

“The penalties will vary some may even be deregistered and government is able to do it and it will do it. So keep your eyes open, something is going to be done,” he said.

The new information minister, Chris Baryomunsi, says it’s absolutely unacceptable for someone one to pay millions of shillings for treatment with no proper explanation.



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