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Parliament okays Bill against detention of defaulting patients

MPs in the House

Parliament has allowed three legislators to draft the Patient’s Rights and Responsibilities Bill, 2018 that will especially prohibit health service providers from detaining patients that fail to pay medical fees.

MPs Paul Akamba (Busiki), Andrew Kaluya (Kigulu South) and David Abala (Ngora) say the bill will not only ensure that guidelines in the patient’s charter are made legally binding, but will also improve health financing and protect patients’ rights.

“In some instances, patients are detained for long periods in health facilities and subjected to abuse and also denied vital services by health workers,” Akamba said in his justification to have the House approve the motion for the trio to secure leave of parliament to draft and introduce the bill.

According to the trio, lack of patients’ rights is psychologically distressing, economically disastrous and can result in some of the poorest people sliding further into poverty. These say detention of patients by some health facilities is an infringement on the patients’ human rights.

“If the bill is passed, it will ensure ethical treatment of patients seeking or receiving health care, including being treated with respect and dignity from an informed point of view,” Akamba said.

But the state minister for Health Sarah Opendi and Planning state minister David Bahati unsuccessfully opposed the motion on grounds that the bill would have serious financial implications on the economy.

Opendi said some issues the bill seeks to address are already provided for since primary health care is free to all Ugandans. Bahati, on the other hand, said until the bill has been drafted, it was impossible to tell what impact it would have on the consolidated fund.

The promoters of the bill argued that the patients’ charter of 2009, which should protect patients, is not legally binding and enforceable.

Despite the protests, when deputy speaker Jacob Oulanyah asked members to vote, the House unanimously supported the move to grant the bill promoters leave of parliament.



+1 #1 Paul Kitaka 2018-01-11 18:45
Why not introduce the health insurance policy to avoid all this?

Mugende mucoppe e Rwanda mulabe bwebikola.

Ugandans are poor and due to the failed state institutions, you can't avoid private health services as such the health sector has become very expensive and exploitative.

Remove the so called useless free health services and introduce the Public health insurance.
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-2 #2 rubangakene 2018-01-11 21:01
"....primary health care is free to all Ugandans." Is this fact or fallacy?

So how come ministers and MPs always request money to be treated abroad? any how this bill is also not well thought through. the bill should have sought to expand, and improve the existing health facilities foremost, and include "patients rights and responsibilities" as part and parcel of that bill.

Imagine the time that will be wasted on this minor issue. Think big; that's why we sent you to parliament!
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0 #3 Akot 2018-01-12 21:21
Was any Ugandan poor or rich, treated like this before museveni came in & desmentled every thing in the country?

Health was the only social service every Ugandan had since independence, & look at us now!
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0 #4 Akot 2018-01-12 21:31
Well, we know the reason people are leaving their counries for Europe is for: Education-Healthcare-Housing, above all!

Museveni left his country & got a place he would leave for no other, unless thrown out headlong in Unity, then, Ugandans will put in place the kind of governance they want & get the serviced they need!

Until Ugandans bring change, there is no way money will be wasted on their health/education..., even if it's them labouring so that museveni's family business remains viable!

Musevni has what he longed/dreamed/fantasized for & will NEVER let go unless forced out in Unity!
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0 #5 Akot 2018-01-12 21:43
In a normal coutnry, parliament would discuss how to give education-healthcare to ALL through National Healthcare Insurance & Natioal Education System!

What would happen if a virus inffects Ugandans?

What kind of education do these mps have & what does "country" mean to them?

How are people living in their constituencies & will they go back to ask to be reelected & why?

Well, British are all against T.May on healthcare failings, yet, they forget this is mainly due to: tobacco-alcohol-drugs & not their leader!

Ugandans now know when they will put in place National Healthcare, this should not include drug-alcoholics-tobacco consumers!
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