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Makerere slams Case Hospital over UGX. 110 million hospital bill for dead Prof. Noble Banadda

Professor Noble Ephraim Banadda succumbed to Coronavirus last week (PHOTO /File )

KAMPALA — Makerere University Vice Chancellor Prof Barnabas Nawangwe has hit out at Case Hospital— accusing the facility of profiteering in the middle of the pandemic.

Prof. Nawangwe reacted angrily to Case Hospital after the health facility demanded UGX. 110m for the dead Makerere University Biosystems Engineering Professor Noble Ephraim Banadda who succumbed to Coronavirus coronavirus last week.

Dr. Banadda was hospitalised at Case Hospital for less than two weeks but at the time of his death, the hospital bill stood at UGX 110 million.

The Uganda Petroleum Authority pledged UGX 34 million of that bill.

While Makerere University Academic Staff Association and the entire University managed Community contributed a total of UGX. 50 million towards clearing the hospital bill.

The University was still looking for UGX. 25 million to clear remaining balance.

Prof Nawangwe in his tribute described the hospital bill from Case Hospital has huge and cited attempts by Private hospitals to profiteer from the pandemic.

As virus cases surge in Uganda, making scarce hospital beds even more expensive, concern is growing over the massive exploitation of patients by private hospitals accused of demanding payment up front and hiking fees.

Uganda is among African countries seeing a dramatic rise in the number of infections amid a severe vaccine shortage.

The country has vaccinated under 1% of its 44 million people.

All Hospitals including those in Kampala, report difficulties in finding bottled oxygen, and some are running out of space for COVID-19 patients. Intensive care units are in high demand.

Although the practice of requiring deposits from patients has long been seen as acceptable in Uganda where few have health insurance, it is raising anger among who accuse Hospitals taking advantage of the crisis.

COVID-19 has highlighted that health care in Uganda is “commoditized, available to the highest bidder,” said Daniel Kalinaki, a columnist with the Daily Monitor newspaper.

“The lingering question is how did we go from a place where you paid what you could and made sure to clear your dues on your next visit, to one where patients will not be touched until the whiny-voiced bean counter in the accounts office confirms that their deposit has cleared?”

Many Ugandans don’t trust government hospitals, citing the decay they find there as well as the occasional lack of basic supplies. Top government officials routinely seek treatment abroad. Most people attend private facilities that have mushroomed across the country in the years since the health sector was opened up to private investors.

Private hospital directors who spoke to the local press defended their fees policy, saying looking after COVID-19 patients is risky and not cheap.

Health authorities have said they are investigating allegations of exploitation.

Prof. Banadda was the first Sub-Saharan African to graduate with a PhD in Chemical engineering from the Katholiek University Leuven in Belgium opening many doors for Africans.

He was also the first African recipient of the Pius XI Golden Medal 2018, the first African under the age of 45 to be recognized by a sitting pope. And many other medals for his outstanding performance.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Denis

    05/07/2021 at 11:48 AM

    That is enough look after my family when am gone , so collect the money give it to my wife and let the hospital stay with my dead body until they get tied of it

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