PARLIAMENT– Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga has tasked the Ministry of Health to table a statement explaining the recent decision taken by the Board of Uganda Cancer Institute to start charging Shs300,000 for patients seeking radiotherapy treatment, yet the same services had been free in the previous years.
Kadaga’s directive followed a complaint raised by Julius Ochen MP Kapelebyong County who questioned the motive behind the new charge during the Wednesday plenary sitting where he asked Government to stop the cost that the board had agreed upon until a policy on that tax is reviewed in order to accommodate the most vulnerable.
However, David Bahati, State Minister for Planning protested to the matter wondering why Parliament should rely on information obtained from newspapers, a statement that didn’t go down well with Francis Mwijukye (Buhweju County) who pointed out that his own father was camped at the cancer institute where he is paying money every day at the cancer institute, “Other people are dying at Mulago do you the MP is telling lies yet it is true that people are paying money.”
Speaker backed the MPs telling Bahati that having newspapers as the source of information isn’t the issue but rather, “What we should be doing is find out whether it is true, the sources. Is the service free?”
According to the October 30, 2018 memo issued by the Institute patients on private arrangement would part with Shs500,000 while international patients will be charged USD2,000 approximately Shs7,467,833m.
Chris Baryomunsi State Minister for Housing told Parliament that the money is official and has been ongoing for about a month.
In a related development, the Speaker has also asked the Committee of Health to investigate reports made by Joshua Anywarach (Padyere County) to investigate reports that Mulago hospital allocated Government land to a private individual to construct a clinic within the hospital, where patients are sent to purchase drugs by the health team.