Government ordered by court to regulate Covid-19 treatment fees in Private hospitals

Covid-19 treatment

High Court, Uganda has ordered the government to immediately intervene into the extremely high fees being charged by private health facilities to patients for Covid-19 treatment.

According to High Court, government ought to instill regulations aimed at guiding a reasonable fee to be charged by hospitals to patients trying to get treatment for the deadly Covid-19 which has hit the country.

Court’s intervention was triggered after the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD)’s Executive Director Moses Mulumba dragged government to court for her failure to intervene in the extremely high fees being charged by private health centers.

In his file, Mr. Mulumba addressed the matter to the Attorney General, the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council as well as the Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng.

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This file drove the High Court Judge Phillip Odokk to come up with a conclusion in which the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council (UMDPC) has been tasked to make reasonable recommendation of the fees meant to be charged to patients then subsequently advice the Health Minister accordingly.

Although the Attorney General agreed to most of the submissions in the case, Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Dr. Diana Atwine had earlier on said they as a Ministry did not have the mandate to dictate the prices.

Furthermore, she informed that the said Ministry had a draft of an amendment made and they’re making plans to present it to cabinet for approval which will be followed by presenting it to the President.

Concerns about the outrageous sums were increasing after multiple Ugandans came out to state that the hospital bills for treatment of Covid-19 were far beyond their capability as some hospitals could charge to the tune of UGX 5 million.

Going for bad to worse, the situation only intensified after some hospitals left patients to die without giving them treatment resulting from their incapability to meet the expected financial requirements.

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