Private healthcare providers have asked government to give them up to June 28th to submit their proposals on how to handle exorbitant health fees that have caused wide public outcry.
The providers who were meeting Col. Judith Nakalema who heads the State House Anti- corruption Unit blamed the high charges which became more pronounced during the surge in COVID-19 cases on increased cost of providing Care due to high utility bills and high prices for sundries such as PPE, some drugs and oxygen.
Nakalema revealed at the meeting held today that in the past few days, they received 496 complaints about high charges in different hospital and the President assigned her to do an audit of the cases and coordinate efforts to rectify the mess.
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She said what's particularly disturbing is health facilities are demanding that patients first deposit money before they can offer them even the initial Care.
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Dr. Warren Namara, the Executive Director of the Health Monitoring Unit said this pandemic has made doctors forget their calling to save lives. Namara says even as there are global shortages, there's no good explanation that can make hospitals charge a million shillings for a cylinder of oxygen that only costs shs70,000 and a dose of antibiotics that costs less than shs10,000 more than Shs30,000.
But even before the next meeting to take place on Monday, providers suggested pool purchasing of medicines and sundries as one of the solutions that can help them cut prices.
On his part, Dr. Richard Idro says government should quickly address the mess in public facilities that are making patients run to expensive private places desperately.
He for instance said apart from Mulago, only Mbarara and Mbale hospitals upgraded their Intensive Care Units to meet the current need.