January 22, 2022
  • January 22, 2022
  • Home
  • Expenses
  • Uganda: Covid-19 – Government to study spending in private hospitals

Uganda: Covid-19 – Government to study spending in private hospitals

By on July 1, 2021 0

The Ministry of Health yesterday appointed a team to study spending by private health facilities, which treat Covid-19 patients, with the aim of solving the problem of exorbitant charges.

The team was appointed yesterday in a closed-door meeting with the management of private hospitals and is expected to report to the ministry today with recommendations on what costs the government can cover.

During the meeting, a team from private health facilities presented a list of their expenses.

Although the health ministry has not publicly disclosed the team’s makeup, sources say it includes both ministry officials and private sector actors.

A source, who attended the meeting but preferred anonymity as they are not allowed to speak to the media, said the ministry was prepared to bear part of the costs on condition that this translates into a reduction charges by private establishments.

The source said the key to the list is the cost of administering oxygen, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other equipment needed by emergency services.

The team is supposed to present a report today so that the government has a clear position on what spending it will cover before the end of the week.

It comes after the public worried about the exorbitant fees charged by private health facilities to treat Covid-19 patients.

According to figures seen by this publication, private health facilities charge between Shs2m and Shs10m daily for ICU admissions.

They also require an upfront payment before admitting a patient.

Dr Denis Kimalyo, executive director of the Uganda National Association of Private Hospitals, who played a key role in the discussions, did not respond to our inquiries about the high costs.

He told this post that he was busy attending a World Health Organization (WHO) meeting and would respond to our requests later. However, at press time, he had not responded to our repeated calls.

We were also unable to reach Ms. Grace Kiwanuka, Executive Director of the Uganda Healthcare Federation, who is a member of the committee, as she did not respond to our repeated calls and texts.

In an interview with Daily Monitor on Sunday, Dr Diana Atwine, permanent secretary of the Department of Health, admitted that the government was hiring private health facilities to find a way to cut costs.

“This discussion is still going on, we believe there is a window for these people to be able to reduce their costs at a reasonable rate. I know that Covid-19 is a very expensive disease to treat because this PPE and the other things that ‘they are very expensive to use,’ Dr Atwine said.

She, however, said that while they engage owners of private health facilities, there is no legal framework they can use to force private facilities to cut fees.

“We don’t have the law to push by force even though we told them to. I think the best is that people don’t go, unfortunately people are desperate and sometimes they have nowhere. where to go, but there, ”she said.

Trial

As private hospitals massacre the Covid-19 pandemic, a health advocacy organization, the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) and its executive director, Mr. Moses Mulumba, took the government to court over the weekend for the exorbitant prices charged.

The petitioner said the government has failed to regulate the high medical bills billed by private health facilities for treatment of Covid-19.

In his affidavit in support of the petition, Mr. Mulumba said the rates charged by hospitals are clearly exorbitant in nature.


Source link