New Mulago Specifically for Referrals- says official

Written by: 
Julian Nakiwala

The newly launched Mulago specialized women and neonatal hospital administration has Tuesday morning clarified on the criteria to access the facility, maintaining their stance that “it should be specifically referrals.”

While appearing on NBS TV’s ‘Morning Breeze’ Mr Enock Kusasira the Mulago hospital spokesperson refuted claims that the facility has been privatized labeling information as baseless and fake news.  

“The hospital is a pure referral, for you to access this hospital, you must have been referred from other regional referral hospitals and should have been referred by a doctor at the level of a specialist,” he clarified also saying the facility remains both a private and public hospital.

Mulago administration lasted week unveiled the charges to be paid by patients which has been widely criticized.

Civil society organizations including Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) an advocacy organization that pioneers the justiciability of the right to health in the country saying the prices are catering an ordinary citizens.

The organization has continuously castigated the government for hiking the prices especially on petty diseases including normal delivery and pop smear among others.

However, Mr Kusasira said Mulago is a public facility where there should be cost sharing.

“We have different levels and one can choose according to their pocket, for those who can’t afford, they’ll be worked on,” he said adding that “there are going to be measures to make sure that Ugandans who can’t afford the smallest fee will be worked on. This hospital isn’t for the rich.”

Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng while unveiling the prices, she said the charges were arrived at after examining the costs of similar services within the country and where possible, a comparison with similar services abroad especially Kinyatta international hospital which is at least of the same level with Mulago.

“On average the standard rates are slightly equivalent to (60%) of the charges in other hospitals,” he said.

“The charges for standard services will be used as a basis for increment for VIP and VVIIP services at the rate of 25 percent and 50 percent respectively. However, Diagnostic (Imaging and Laboratory), Intensive Care Unit and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit services will be the same across all classifications.”

She further explained that patients will pay a consultation fee of Shs50,000, admitted patients Shs80, 000 per day, which includes food, linen and utilities. Under reproductive medicine, patients seeking IVF will be required to pay Shs 1.3million, which she said is below what is currently charged by private health facilities.

There will however be a Waiver System for patients unable to pay for the services.

“A committee will be set up to assess the eligibility of the patients seeking a waiver. The committee will comprise of: Head of clinical services at the hospital (Deputy Director), Nurse in-charge, Medical Social Worker and Head of Administration. This committee will set guidelines on the eligibility criteria.”