Patients in Gulu Municipal Hospital

The leading opposition party, Forum for Democratic Change (FDC), has expressed its concern over the declining state of the public healthcare system in Uganda and referred to it as a death trap to the extent that senior government officials go for treatment abroad .

Last week Late Meddie Ssozi Kaggwa, who was the Chairperson of Uganda human Rights Commission (UHRC), collapsed near Mulago round about adjacent to the gate to the National Referral Hospital, Mulago on his way to work and instead was taken by a Doctor who works in the same hospital to a private medical facility for emergency treatment.

According to FDC deputy spokesperson, John Kikonyogo, the ailing health sector has made dignitaries both in government and private sector to run to either private clinics, hospitals or abroad for treatment.

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“Today, even a sweeper in state house runs to either Agha khan in Nairobi, South Africa or India for a simple headache treatment. We have seen Museveni’s daughters chartered for private jets to deliver in Germany, a clear indicator of mistrust in our health care system. Unfortunately, people working in these hospitals are Ugandan trained Medical doctors who ran away from Uganda because of poor working conditions and remuneration,” he said.

He said that even when Dr. Apollo Milton Obote and Idi Amin Dada’s governments continued to be referred as bad by the ruling party, the NRM, the leaders of the same past regimes had their children delivered at Mulago Hospital and treated from the same facility. In 1969 when Dr. Milton Obote was shot, he was treated at Mulago National Referral Hospital.

For the last 20 years, the government of Uganda has been spending abnormal sums of money on treatment of government officials, and their relatives abroad. “In the last three years, the total spent on treatment abroad is Shs377 billion s which would have been utilized in refurbishing Mulago and upgrading regional referrals to international standards. This would benefit all Ugandans irrespective of their positions.”

According to party FDC’s 2016-2021, they highlighted that health services workforce will be given a rewarding and compensation package. The starting salary for a doctor will be shs3.5 million.

They had pledged to establish a nation-wide emergence ambulance and air rescue service that will be accessible to every citizen in need and offer specialized services for women and especially mothers and health insurance scheme to ensure coverage for all citizens who do not have insurance from private health service providers or work-based insurance schemes.