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Per capita health spending up but below global target

By Taddeo Bwambale

Added 7th July 2019 12:04 PM

Out of Uganda’s sh7.5 trillion total expenditure on health, about 41% comes from individuals paying out of their pockets for health services, 42% from donors and 15% from government.

Per capita health spending up but below global target

(Lef to right )Commissioner financing, planning ministry of health Sarah Byakika look on as Permanent Secretary Ministry of health Diana Atwiine addresses journalists during a breakfast meeting at the Ministry of Health on July 4, 2019. (Photo by Nancy Nanyonga)

Out of Uganda’s sh7.5 trillion total expenditure on health, about 41% comes from individuals paying out of their pockets for health services, 42% from donors and 15% from government.

HEALTH
 
Government's annual average health expenditure per person has increased from about $40 (sh146,663) in 2012 to about $53 (sh194,328) in 2018.
 
However, the figure remains much lower than the $84 (sh307,992) recommended by the World Health Organisation (WHO) for low-income countries.
 
Out of Uganda's sh7.5 trillion total expenditure on health, about 41% comes from individuals paying out of their pockets for health services, 42% from donors and 15% from government.
 
The high out of pocket spending for households is a major concern for experts since health services are meant to be free at public facilities and WHO recommends no more than 15%.
 

 

 
Sarah Byakika, the commissioner for planning at the health ministry, says the funding arrangement cannot guarantee quality health services and universal health coverage.
 
"Some people are forced to sell their property or borrow heavily to ensure that they or their loved ones get treatment, which is risky and sustainable," she said at meeting with journalists on Friday
 
The health ministry is pushing for the rollout of a national health insurance scheme providing for a medical cover for every Ugandan.
 
Under the proposed scheme, employees who are above the age of 18 will contribute 4% of their monthly salary for health insurance, while the employer contributes 1%.
 
Retired public servants will also have 1% of their monthly pension deducted by government as contribution towards the health insurance scheme.
 
The bill has generated heated debate about some of its proposals. Byakika said the bill was still in draft form, pending consultations and debate by lawmakers.
 
Those who derived income from self-employment will pay an average of about sh100,000 for health insurance, although Byakika says the amount will depend on assessment.
 
According to the health ministry, the health insurance scheme will save Ugandans, both the rich, but most especially the poor, from selling off their personal belongings to pay for health services.
 
Faced with inadequate funding for health, government plans to raise more funds through health insurance to plug some of the health service delivery challenges. 

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