The head of State House Anti-Corruption Unit, Col Edith Nakalema has said that the 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 the Ministry of Health to question these exorbitant prices.”
Public outrage erupted following social media reactions regarding the cost of transporting patients using ambulances at Nkozi Hospital.
According to the charge sheet, the hospital charges an ambulance for an outside patient at Sh200,000, a 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.