@TheEastAfrican

The problem with Uganda’s healthcare is affordability...

7 days ago, 10:56

By: Fredrick Golooba- ...

The current standoff between the Government of Uganda and the medical fraternity offers Ugandans much food for thought and also an opportunity to reflect on health services in the country in general.

The standoff began on May 1 when, while presiding over Labour Day celebrations, if ‘celebration’ is indeed the right word in the circumstances, the President seized the opportunity to lambast doctors for among other things, their uncaring attitude towards their patients.

Museveni was smarting from encounters he has had with doctors who in recent times have been rather vocal in voicing their dissatisfaction with their conditions of service, stretching from their salaries which they argue are inadequate, to constant lack of supplies and equipment that would enable them to provide decent services to their compatriots in ill-health.

It seems like merely talking about these things does not impress the government or the president sufficiently for them to take the necessary action. As a result, doctors have taken extreme measures and downed their tools, throwing an already chaotic and dysfunctional system into further chaos.

Whatever Museveni thinks or says about the lack of supplies and equipment is unknown. He is not in the habit of making public statements about the issue. However, on salaries, he has been emphatic.

He has been ‘advising’ doctors and other public servants not to clamour for bigger salaries because he and the government have higher priorities to attend to, to lay the foundation for a thriving economy that will, in the course of time, enable the government to be more generous.

However, like other public servants, doctors have been uncompromising on this. So, recently the government decided to raise their pay.

But the President has been unforgiving, thus his recent diatribe. And now he wants to take measures to ensure that doctors do not ‘hold the government hostage’ again.

One such measure is to import Cuban doctors presumably to ensure that should Ugandan medics go on strike again, services do not come to a complete halt. Many questions arise, but I won’t go into that today. Suffice it to say, though, that the medics’ demands for more money in their pockets are legitimate.

Healthcare costs

There is another issue, though, which this standoff is not bringing to light, and that is how Ugandans experience health services when they need them.

A recent experience gave me pause for thought. A young man I know has a problem. For the last three months he has been forced to take time off work by severe back pain. Through no fault of his own, he never went to school and has been fending for himself since his early teens.

For the past two decades or so, he has been carrying heavy loads, earning his wages daily. So ever since he stopped working he has had no income.

During that time, he has been to many health facilities, public and private, and even to a ‘traditional healer’. In each instance he has been told a different story.

At a government clinic he was ...
Read More


Category: topnews news oped opinion

Suggested

23 minutes
@CITIZENTV - By: Citizen
Early oil trials set for June 3

Early oil trials set for June 3 ...

Category: topnews news business
1 hours ago, 20:25
@CITIZENTV - By: Ann Ngige Nyamu
Driver, tout arrested for robbing commuters along Thika Superhighway

According to Ruiru OCPD James Ng'etich, more than 40 phones, assorted ID cards and SIM cards were found stashed in a bag inside the 14-seater matatu. ...

Category: topnews news
1 hours ago, 20:20
@DailyNation - By: Brian Okinda
10 foreigners arrested in crackdown

Those arrested used brokers to acquire the documentation, an immigration official said. ...

Category: topnews news
1 hours ago, 20:11
@CITIZENTV - By: Kepha Muiruri
CS Kiunjuri maintains no money was lost at NCPB

Sh1bn to be released to maize farmers as CS Kiunjuri maintains no money was lost at NCPB ...

Category: topnews news business
42 minutes
@TheStar - By: Reuters @reuters
US court stops Trump from blocking Twitter critics

A federal judge in New York on Wednesday ruled that President Donald Trump may not legally block Twitter users because doing so violates their rights under the First Amendment of the Constitution.The ...

Category: topnews news
1 hour ago
@TheStar - By: Victor Amadala @i ...
Loan hawking to attract Sh20m fine in Treasury's new Financial Bill

The National Treasury has drafted a bill to regulate financial institutions in Kenya in what seems as 'soft massage' to lawmakers to drop their hand stance on the contentious interest cap.Members of P ...

Category: topnews news

@TheEastAfrican

The problem with Uganda’s healthcare is affordability...

7 days ago, 10:56

By: Fredrick Golooba- ...

The current standoff between the Government of Uganda and the medical fraternity offers Ugandans much food for thought and also an opportunity to reflect on health services in the country in general.

The standoff began on May 1 when, while presiding over Labour Day celebrations, if ‘celebration’ is indeed the right word in the circumstances, the President seized the opportunity to lambast doctors for among other things, their uncaring attitude towards their patients.

Museveni was smarting from encounters he has had with doctors who in recent times have been rather vocal in voicing their dissatisfaction with their conditions of service, stretching from their salaries which they argue are inadequate, to constant lack of supplies and equipment that would enable them to provide decent services to their compatriots in ill-health.

It seems like merely talking about these things does not impress the government or the president sufficiently for them to take the necessary action. As a result, doctors have taken extreme measures and downed their tools, throwing an already chaotic and dysfunctional system into further chaos.

Whatever Museveni thinks or says about the lack of supplies and equipment is unknown. He is not in the habit of making public statements about the issue. However, on salaries, he has been emphatic.

He has been ‘advising’ doctors and other public servants not to clamour for bigger salaries because he and the government have higher priorities to attend to, to lay the foundation for a thriving economy that will, in the course of time, enable the government to be more generous.

However, like other public servants, doctors have been uncompromising on this. So, recently the government decided to raise their pay.

But the President has been unforgiving, thus his recent diatribe. And now he wants to take measures to ensure that doctors do not ‘hold the government hostage’ again.

One such measure is to import Cuban doctors presumably to ensure that should Ugandan medics go on strike again, services do not come to a complete halt. Many questions arise, but I won’t go into that today. Suffice it to say, though, that the medics’ demands for more money in their pockets are legitimate.

Healthcare costs

There is another issue, though, which this standoff is not bringing to light, and that is how Ugandans experience health services when they need them.

A recent experience gave me pause for thought. A young man I know has a problem. For the last three months he has been forced to take time off work by severe back pain. Through no fault of his own, he never went to school and has been fending for himself since his early teens.

For the past two decades or so, he has been carrying heavy loads, earning his wages daily. So ever since he stopped working he has had no income.

During that time, he has been to many health facilities, public and private, and even to a ‘traditional healer’. In each instance he has been told a different story.

At a government clinic he was ...
Read More

Category: topnews news oped opinion

Suggested

23 minutes
@CITIZENTV - By: Citizen
Early oil trials set for June 3

Early oil trials set for June 3 ...

Category: topnews news business
1 hours ago, 20:25
@CITIZENTV - By: Ann Ngige Nyamu
Driver, tout arrested for robbing commuters along Thika Superhighway

According to Ruiru OCPD James Ng'etich, more than 40 phones, assorted ID cards and SIM cards were found stashed in a bag inside the 14-seater matatu. ...

Category: topnews news
1 hours ago, 20:20
@DailyNation - By: Brian Okinda
10 foreigners arrested in crackdown

Those arrested used brokers to acquire the documentation, an immigration official said. ...

Category: topnews news
1 hours ago, 20:11
@CITIZENTV - By: Kepha Muiruri
CS Kiunjuri maintains no money was lost at NCPB

Sh1bn to be released to maize farmers as CS Kiunjuri maintains no money was lost at NCPB ...

Category: topnews news business
42 minutes
@TheStar - By: Reuters @reuters
US court stops Trump from blocking Twitter critics

A federal judge in New York on Wednesday ruled that President Donald Trump may not legally block Twitter users because doing so violates their rights under the First Amendment of the Constitution.The ...

Category: topnews news
1 hour ago
@TheStar - By: Victor Amadala @i ...
Loan hawking to attract Sh20m fine in Treasury's new Financial Bill

The National Treasury has drafted a bill to regulate financial institutions in Kenya in what seems as 'soft massage' to lawmakers to drop their hand stance on the contentious interest cap.Members of P ...

Category: topnews news
Our App