Monday, May 29, 2017

#Uganda to privatize national referral hospital @KagutaMuseveni @StatehouseUG @USAmbUganda @EUAmbSchmidt

Uganda politicians fly abroad for treatment forgetting that most sick people in Uganda do not even hold passports.

Karma is paying them all back.  They fly abroad for treatment and return in Belly cargo dead.

The politicians need to fix medical care in Uganda.  The only national referral hospital must not be privatised.  It is also the main medical teaxhing hospital so by allowing it to be privatised, you are saying the multitudes do not matter.

Go ahead and privatise it and then we shall put a curse on you to drop dead after you return from your treatment in India, South Africa or Hamburg.

The ghosts of our ancestors will ensure that you do not live after you killed public health care.  It is a curse.


OPINIONBy William G Naggaga

The new Mulago Hospital was built by the British government just before independence and handed over to Uganda as a 'gift'. It was not actually a gift since it was built using money belonging to Ugandans but kept by Britain as part of the coffee price stabilisation fund set up to ensure that coffee farmers did not suffer any losses in income due to volatility of coffee prices on the world market.

Farmers were paid fix prices which were far below the international market prices, leaving the balance to help run the protectorate while a portion went to the price stabilisation fund mentioned above.

The other reason why farmers were paid less than the prevailing market prices was because of the perceived low "absorption capacity" of the peasants. The British believed that pumping too much money in the hands of people whose tastes and needs were considered to be 'rudimentary' would tempt them to over indulge in alcohol and other vices and make them lazy and unproductive. Both assumptions have questionable validity, but in the end it was colonial administration.

Mulago hospital like many other institutions in Uganda such as the Uganda Development Bank, were hence built from the sweat of the peasants. Mulago hospital, once the best national referral hospital in the region, was allowed to waste away into dilapidation, especially in the last 20 years. Its recent renovation using a loan of $28 million from the African Development Bank plus funds from other sources has gotten high ranking officials in the Ministry of Health and Mulago hospital excited. They are now telling Ugandans that Mulago will be run as a private self-accounting institution and patients will be required to pay! In other words, the vast majority of Ugandans would be locked out. I applaud the Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, for vowing to have this proposal rejected by Parliament.

The government of Uganda did not borrow money from ADB to build a private hospital for the rich but to renovate and equip a national referral hospital, the only one in the country. This loan as far as I know, will be repaid by Ugandan taxpayers, irrespective of their standing in society and not by the administrators of Mulago from payments made by patients.

We understand Uganda spends $150m per annum on medical treatment abroad for a privileged few, which can now be channelled to Mulago. I am sure, using that money, Mulago will treat many more patients than the few who have accessed it in the past. Besides, a lot of Ugandans pay for their treatment abroad and these too will not need to fly out of the country anymore, making another $200 million or so available to Mulago.

The congestion in Mulago over the years was a direct result of the collapse of the district referral hospitals, which were built during the first post-independence government due to negligence and failure to fully operationalise the health centres built by the current government.


No comments:

Post a Comment