Two Mothers Share Views on New Mulago Charges

Written by: 
Olivia Nakayima

Two mothers have expressed mixed feelings about the proposed costs of accessing medical care at the newly refurbished Mulago Specialised Maternal and Neonatal Hospital.

While one woman expresses concern saying the new costs are prohibitive for low income earners, another one is excited she will return to the government facility.

The national referral hospital reopened on September 17th after renovations which cost of 96 billion Shillings.

On September 19, the Ministry of Health released a statement indicating costs of accessing treatment at the 450 capacity specialised women and neonatal wing.

Some of the charges in clued 70,000 Shillings for neonatal follow-up /immunization per visit and 80,000 Shillings for accommodation and meals per day.

A patient will part with 4.5 million Shillings for fistula repair, 50,000 shillings as consultation fee per visit, Shillings 800,000 for normal delivery and two million Shillings for caesarean section. For abdominal surgery, patients will pay 2.5 million Shillings while getting a nurse or doctor will cost 100,000 Shillings.

Other costs include hysteroscopy or uterus test 1.5 million Shillings among others.

Asked this week whether these charges are affordable, Vienna Nnyombi, a charcoal seller who is six months pregnant, says that she will not be able to give birth from Mulago Hospital.

"I am a charcoal seller who saves less than 5,000 Shillings a day and my husband is a boda Boca cyclist. We have two children to look after hence we cannot afford 800,000 or two million Shillings," she said.

Nnyombi added that she thought the charges would be fair to most especially low income earners since Mulago is a Government health facility.

Anne Byarugaba, who declined to say what she does, had a different view. She says that she has been spending three million Shillings on surgery and therefore the new women’s facility at Mulago is going to help her.

"I thank the government for the great work done of constructing for us this facility. I have been spending three million Shillings on surgery but now it is two million. I am so happy and I hope that we are to get the best services from this New Mulago Hospital," she said.

The Ministry of Health says the 450-bed capacity hospital was constructed to enable women with complex reproductive health problems and Intro Vitro Fertilization access services at a reduced cost.

Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, the Minister of Health, defended these new charges saying that the government had made thorough consultation.