Private Health care facilities have come out to defend their exorbitant charges for treating covid 19 patients.
Private health facilities in Kampala attribute the high amounts to increasing costs of medicines, payment of specialists and purchasing oxygen, among others.
This follows complaints by members of the public over “exorbitant daily charges” to treat a critically ill patient which go as high as Shs 5 million and sometimes land titles are claimed by the hospitals as security that the family members of patients would meet the costs.
Many families of Covid-19 patients end up in private facilities after failing to get admission in public health facilities due to lack of space.
However, charges for Covid-19 treatment range from Shs2 million to Shs 5 million which is largely unbearable to many Ugandans.
Dr Edrin Jjuuko, the head of medical services at UMC Victoria Hospital, said their charges are reasonable. He added that many manufacturers have increased the prices of essential drugs that are used in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to treat Covid-19 and other conditions but did not specify the medicines.
“Charges for ICU care are high because of the increase in prices of medicines and other supplies used. Expenses on care providers such as nurses and doctors have also gone up. There are lots of risk allowances that are paid,” he said
He added that each patient is allocated two nurses. The nurses work in a 12-hour shift and they are paid Shs100,000 each with a doctor going home with 300000 per day. He added that before the pandemic, a nurse was paid Shs50,000 to work in the ICU . Dr Jjuuko said a doctors in their ICU work for about four hours.