Health Minister Jane Ruth Aceng has expressed shock at the extortionist rates being charged by private hospitals to treat Covid-19 patients.
“It is totally unacceptable to charge five million shillings a day to treat a patient!” said Dr Aceng this week while she was receiving a donation of 175,000 Covid-19 vaccine doses from the French Ambassador to Uganda, Jules-Armand Aniambossou. Nobody should fleece the people in the name of treating Covid!”
Dr Aceng who repeatedly used the word “fleecing” in her brief speech said Ugandans should now be pulling together to roll back the new wave of Covid-19 instead of fleecing helpless people.
“This is not the time to fleece Ugandans,” she pleaded.
Minister Aceng said that in any case there is no guarantee that after paying such high charges a patient will recover.
“More Covid-19 patients are now dying from private hospitals!” she fumed. “”It is totally unacceptable to fleece Ugandans to that level in such cirumstances.”
But the rate the minister was quoting was even on the lower side for some private health facilities. There are those that charge ten million shillings in advance on admission and then start computing the bill on a daily basis, bringing the total charges by the end of two weeks to 40 or so million shillings.
Another sub-sector literally dancing in the covid-19 victims’ graves are the funeral service companies. These are also reportedly charging five million shillings for the lowest burial package. And because of the scientific burial restrictions, the bereaved have no option but to pay the extortionist funeral company charges because neighbours, relatives, friends and in-laws are not allowed to take charge of the burial exercise as culturally Africans and Ugandans do in normal times.
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