It’s Your Responsibility: Court Orders Gov’t To Regulate Covid-19 Treatment Costs In private Hospitals

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The High Court has ordered the government to intervene and make regulations for a reasonable cost to be paid for management and treatment of Covid-19 in private hospitals.

The development follows a case filed by Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) executive director Moses Mulumba on the exorbitant prices charged to treat Covid-19.

The case was filed against the Attorney General, Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council, and the Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng.

High Court judge Phillip Odoki said in his ruling on Thursday that the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council (UMDPC) should make recommendations on reasonable fees that could be charged, and advise the ministry of Health accordingly.

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One of the respondents in the case, the Attorney General, agreed with most of the submissions in the case.

The Health ministry Permanent Secretary Dr Diana Atwine had earlier said that currently, they had no law that supports them to dictate prices by private health facilities.

She however noted that the ministry had already made a draft of an amendment that they would take to the cabinet for approval and later Parliament.

Some private health facilities charge is as high as Shs 5 million per day per patient, especially those in the Intensive Care Units and suffering from COVID-19.

Many of these have also been cited in cases where Covid-19 patients die, and the body is withheld until full payments of over Shs 100 million for the whole treatment period are paid.

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