By Ritah Kemigisa
The Secretary-General of the Uganda Medical Association Dr Mukuzi Muhereza has emphasised the need for hospitals to stabilise patients in emergency situations and refer to any other facilities in case one cannot afford the bill.
His comment comes at a time Mengo hospital is in the spotlight for allegedly putting money before saving a life, a situation that, allegedly, over the weekend led to the death of Daily Monitor’s photojournalist John Bugembe Ssenkubuge.
Mengo hospital spokesperson Dennis Bwanika has said these accusations are false because they put patients’ safety first.
According to Dr Mukuzi, medical services are generally expensive both in Uganda and other countries but the fact, unfortunately, remains that someone has to pay for it.
He however says much as health guidelines require medics to offer the basic emergency services before referral, it is not clear how far they can go.
Dr Mukuzi meanwhile says the hope for equitable access to medical services lies in the National Health Insurance Scheme Bill which seeks to provide universal healthcare to all Ugandans.
It was recently passed by the 10th parliament and now awaits assent by the president.