The head of State House Anti-Corruption Unit, Col Edith Nakalema has said that government might be forced to intervene and stop private health facilities from charging Covid-19 patients exorbitantly.
Nakalema was responding to the public outcry on social media platforms over what some described as “extortion and robbery” by some private health facilities regarding the cost of treating Covid-19 during this period.
in a tweet yesterday, Nakalema that: “….We shall coordinate with police and Ministry of Health to question these exorbitant prices.”
Nakalema said that fighting corruption requires collective efforts adding that together we can make a difference.
Indeed alarming! We shall coordinate with police and MoH to question these exorbitant prices. Fighting corruption requires collective efforts and together we can make a difference 💪🏾 https://t.co/PqymMe5m0Z
— Col Edith Nakalema (@edthnaka) June 16, 2021
Public outrage erupted following the post on Twitter by a journalist Simon Kaggwa Njala regarding the cost of transporting patients using ambulances at Nkozi Hospital.
According to the charge sheet seen by The Nile Post, the hospital charges ambulance for an outside patient at Sh200,000, referral from the hospital at Shs 700,000, a patient deposit Shs1 million and daily payments oxygen at Shs100,000.
These charges in a country where the average Ugandan earns about Shs 2.7 million a year means that the cost of transporting critically-ill Covid-19 patients is beyond the affordability of most households.
For some members of the public, it has meant substantial borrowing while others said they have had to sell family and personal assets to raise money to meet such bills hence calling upon the government to intervene with immediate effect.
Benjamin Nabaasa noted: “It’s because of the poor health care system that citizens are suffering and paying for the bad governance over the 35 years don’t blame these institutions, we’re still using the same properties the missionaries left us with.”
Our effort to talk to the hospital administration was futile.