TOP
  • Home
  • Health
  • Most Ugandans sell assets to pay medical bills - survey

Most Ugandans sell assets to pay medical bills - survey

By Violet Nabatanzi

Added 15th October 2019 10:34 AM

The survey had 4,373 respondents and 398 facilities were surveyed, of these 57% were public, 36% private facilities, 12% hospitals and 26% drug shops.

Healthcare 703x422

Makerere University School of Public Health Prof. Fred Wabwire speaking during the Primary Health Care Breakfast dissemination and dialogue in Kampala. PHOTO: Violet Nabatanzi

The survey had 4,373 respondents and 398 facilities were surveyed, of these 57% were public, 36% private facilities, 12% hospitals and 26% drug shops.

At least 44% of Ugandans have to first sell their assets to pay for their medical care due to high costs of health services and biting poverty.

A report on Primary Health Care Performance in Uganda 2019 conducted by Makerere University School of Public Health, Ariadne Labs, Johns Hopkins and Performance Monitoring for Action revealed that 51% Ugandans found it difficult to pay for their visits, 44% had to borrow money or sell something in order to meet their healthcare needs.

The survey had 4,373 respondents and 398 facilities were surveyed, of these 57% were public, 36% private facilities, 12% hospitals and 26% drug shops.

Presenting the key findings of the report, Prof Fred Wabwire of Makerere University School of Public Health said this implies that Ugandans are finding difficulties in accessing healthcare.

The programme manager of Uganda National Health Users and Consumers Organisation (UNHCO) Moses Kirigwajjo called for an urgent need to invest in preventive healthcare, redefine the insurance package to cater for the chronic illnesses and continuously educate the public on the service delivery models to achieve universal health coverage.

"This is catastrophic expenditure which increases the poverty index of the country. More investment in only clinical care is likely to plunge the poor into deeper poverty," he said

Dr. Elizabeth Nabiwemba said the act is dangerous because the more people borrow, the more they go into poverty and it becomes a vicious circle of poverty.

"If people cannot afford, it means that they cannot seek care and will be more sick, and if they are to borrow they will grow poorer," Nabiwemba.

Dr. Ivan Kamya, the District Health Officer of Kiruhura district said it is unfortunate that people are selling their assets to meet their bills.

The report also revealed that 99% of Ugandans report not having health insurance. Nabiwemba said of the 1% about half of them had the health insurance through their employers.

It is against this background that the director curative services at the ministry of health, Dr. Charles Olaro called upon members of Parliament to expedite the passing of National Health Insurance Scheme into law.

The Health Insurance Scheme 2019 was tabled before parliament recently by the Health Minister Dr. Ruth Aceng. Cabinet approved the draft National Health Insurance Scheme Bill 2019 in June this year.

The Bill seeks to establish a health insurance Scheme that will enable all Ugandans, whether rich or poor in salaried employment or self-employed, to be treated at all healthy facilities from health centre IIIs to referral hospitals.

However , only salaried workers or the self-employed aged 18 years and above will be required to make mandatory contributions to the scheme.

Kamya said the health insurance scheme should be able to provide a comprehensive package of care right from Health Center 111s up to hospitals.

Related Articles

More From The Author

Related articles