Private Health Service Providers (PHSP) on spot over the management of COVID19 pandemic

The Private Health Service Providers (PHSP) have come under fire, from the Covid-19 taskforce of Parliament over the high cost of COVID19 treatment, holding of bodies of Covid-19 victims and patients over unpaid bills and the general management of the pandemic. 

The Covid-19 task force on Tuesday 6th July 2021, tasked the PHSP under their umbrella Uganda Healthcare Federation (UHF) to explain the high charges and retention of bodies and patients over unpaid bills.

The Parliamentary Task Force on COVID19 chaired by Bugweri County MP Abdu Katuntu was established by Parliament to among other things look into the high costs of COVID19 treatment, assess the state of health facilities, and Conduct awareness sensitization countrywide. The Committee is expected to at the end of this process, submit a report to Parliament.

Responding to the concerns raised, representatives of PHSP told the committee that they spend on average three million five hundred thousand per day to treat each COVID19 patient in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). 

Grace Ssali Kiwanuka, the Executive Director of Uganda Healthcare Federation (UHF) said ICU medication, nursing care, and oxygen raise the costs of treatment for critical COVID19 patients.

Kiwanuka provided a breakdown of the 3.5 Million costs of treating each COVID19 patient per day as follows. She said that ICU and non-ICU drugs take up to Shillings 1.1 million a day, human resources like nursing takes Shillings 805,000 a day, bed and the ventilator Shillings 560,000, consumables Shillings 385,000, laboratory Shillings 315,000 and administration and imaging Shillings 245,000 and 35,000 respectively each day.

The PHSP asked the government to support the private hospitals with oxygen, the high water and electricity bills, pooled procurement for support medicine, and the establishment of a medical credit scheme and provision of equipment during the pandemic.

On the issue of detaining patients and bodies over unpaid bills, the PHSP asked the government to guide them on how to deal with people who are unwilling or unable to pay.