trueBy Moses Talibita
The Sunday Vision of July 5, 2015, had an article: There is hope for Ugandan health care, by Dr Ian Clarke. The article tells of a family with relevant connections whose poor baby got a fractured head -thanks to expert and qualified doctors, its health was restored.
The article proclaims that Uganda’s healthcare is okay and invites the general public to avoid all negative stories that protest Uganda’s healthcare as substandard.
The article chose a good story: a preserve of the rich, connected and residents in urban places where state of the art private and public health facilities that handle health emergencies are converged.
Health facilities that a majority of Ugandans got to either have tragedies or escapades. Communities, it no wonder are willing to contribute to even assist poor citizens for better treatment abroad. Exporting patients abroad robs our country of critic revenue that can be invested if only local investors injected money into buying medical devises for major surgeries.
Stories are told of health workers’ brain drain, I submit that it’s greatly dependent of the lack of relevant medical tools to facilitate workers practicing to the extreme of their skill rather than meager salaries. If Health is Wealth is anything to go by, investors’ choice in health equipment is not only a lucrative novel business idea, it persuades health workers to practice, cut patient rights violations to zero, eradicates infant, maternal and new-born mortality.
Their [patient’s and health workers] story is twofold, health worker views and that of the patient plight. I elect to start with the health workers untold challenges, which are the gist of this response. Employment law demands the employer to provide employees with the tools of work, short of that avails an employee a defence- vicarious liability. However, it must be noted that the health worker as a professional person too, has a right to withdraw labour very much to the chagrin to the Hippocratic Oath.
Wherever you look health service deliver is poor and the alternative private for profit providers have commercialised treatment which relegates citizens to death. Health service in Uganda has become an amenity which is a preserve of the rich or well-connected and the disadvantaged lose bread winners thus shattering most dreams of family members. To reed Uganda or preventable death or health workers defecting to politics or finding greener pastures, health entrepreneurship is the way to go!
The writer is a lawyer working with Uganda National Health users/ Consumers Organisation
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