KAMPALA, Uganda: Hospitals around the country are on the spot for shamelessly profiteering from the Covid19… The Investigator reports on how Doctors who swore to save lives, have hiked medical fares by several folds following the spike in the pandemic.
Patients who turn up in hospitals in critical condition are directed to deposit huge sums of money before they can be admitted in the intensive care units. We understand for instance, how a top health facility in Bukoto is charging a deposit of UGX10m before receiving patients in its intensive care unit.
The patient is thereafter charged a whopping five million for each day that he or she spends at this health facility. Another top healthy facility located on Bombo road is said to be charging an admission fee of five million Uganda shillings. Thereafter, the patient pays two million and five hundred shillings each day they receives treatment.
Another hospital in the leafy Kololo suburb is charging four million shillings for one to be admitted to its intensive care unit. Other greedy health workers in government hospitals are said to be causing an artificial scarcity of oxygen in order to induce the desperate Covid19 patients to pay highly for the lifeline.
And yet others are hoarding the donated drugs used to treat Covid19 patients and are selling it at exorbitant prices on the black market. This is the kind of exploitation which prompted the Presidential aide on fighting graft, Edith Nakalema to step out and cause an investigation in order to rescue the COVID patients from the greedy health facility operators.
How Nakalema is going to fix charges for medication remains to be seen since ours is a free market economy where the forces of demand for a certain service or product determines the prices. Moreover, most of the private hospitals are owned by powerful people in government or their cronies. As such, Nakalema will find out sooner than later how the job she has stepped out to embark on is such a monumental one to deliver.
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