Treating top government officials from abroad robs the country of huge resources which should instead be invested in healthcare system.
KAMPALA- Health professionals have urged President Yoweri Museveni to respond to their letter which highlighted issues affecting the health sector and also abolishing treating government officials from abroad.
They said treating top government officials from abroad robs the country of huge resources which should instead be invested in healthcare system.
They cited $123m (about sh455b) was spent to treat government officials in India alone in 2016.
Addressing a press conference at Fellowship of Christian Unions (FOCUS) in Mulago, the health experts said their major concern was the plight of Ugandans dying due to the poor healthcare system.
Dr. Emmanuel Luyirika told reporters that they wrote a letter to President Yoweri Museveni on July 3, highlighting challenges affecting the healthcare system in the country.
According to Dr. Luyirika, the letter was copied to the Speaker of Parliament Rebecca Kadaga, Minister of Health Dr. Ruth Aceng, Minister of Finance Matia Kasaija and the leader of opposition in Parliament Betty Aol Ochan but up to now they haven't received any response.
"Severe and persistent underfunding of health is hurting Ugandans," Dr. Luyirika told reporters.
He pointed out that primary healthcare services especially disease prevention efforts, sanitation and hygiene support visits to homes by health workers do not exist anymore.
"Uganda is running a heavily hospital dependent curative system," he said.
The press conference was attended by Dr. Stephen Watiti, Dr. Richard Idro the president of Uganda Medical Association and Dr. Olive Kobusingye among others.
The health professionals told reporters that Uganda lacks a national and functional patient referral system and ambulance services.
"Thousands of Ugandans die every year of manageable conditions because of lack of coordinated referral system and an ambulance service," Dr. Kobusingye said.
Dr. Watiti told the scribes that a total of 1.4 million persons are living with HIV/AIDS and of this, only 1.2 million are on ART treatment.
He pointed out that 19,000 persons living with HIV die annually.
Dr Kobusingye urged politicians to put health as a priority in their manifestos as Uganda goes to the polls in 2021.