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Cancer Institute now charging patients for treatment

Ministry of Health and Mulago hospital management has distanced itself from charges levied by the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) on patients seeking treatment at the facility. 

Patients are now asked to pay between Shs 50,000-300,000 for radiotherapy treatment. Prossy Namagembe one of the patients, says that she was told to pay Shs 130,000 for scan and consultation fees at Mulago hospital and at the Uganda Cancer Institute.

The executive director Uganda Cancer Institute, Dr Jackson Orem says that the fees being charged are part of a pilot study to determine how much money the institute can charge patients in a bid to raise revenue for operations of the institute.

"We’re supposed to generate some revenue from source and spend at source. We have been working on how best we can collect that monthly revenue so we can know how much revenue is generated from the institute." said Orem. 

He however added that patients who cannot afford to pay for the services will be treated at a free cost.

"Patients who cannot afford to pay for the services should inform us and they will receive treatment free of any charges," Orem says. 

Orem says that the institute is also yet to determine how much patients should pay and what the institute will use the funds for.  The Cancer Institute is one of several medical facilities that receive funding from the Ministry of Health. In the next financial year, the institute was allocated Shs 91 billion. 

Dr Diana Atwine, the permanent secretary ministry of Health, says that the ministry is not aware that the institute charges patients for services.

"We really need to hear from them. We have never authorised charging. So if they are doing it, they are doing it on their own." she said 

Dr Baterana Byarugaba, executive director Mulago hospital, says that it is illegal for health workers to solicit money from patients seeking health services.

"Those people paying at Mulago and other regional referral hospitals and other government health facilities that is not in the private wing. Those payments are done by errant health workers. These are really thieves Some of them are masqueraders and may not be health workers in that health facility but we want people to help us catch these thieves so that we eliminate them from our health facilities. Those are thieves, catch them." said Byarugaba.

It is estimated that there are over 400,000 people receiving cancer treatment at UCI from Uganda and neighbouring countries. The most common cancers in Uganda are; cervical, prostate, breast, Kaposi sarcoma, Burkitt lymphoma, lung, skin, bone, cancer of the eye, colon, and blood.

Comments

0 #1 nkuutu kibedi 2018-06-19 16:10
Dr Jackson Orem is a thief and extremely unprofessional. You can't charge terminally ill patients!!!

Uganda dovt. pays for their treatment, and the UCI is not a profit making institute. The Ministry of Health should stop this madness!
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+2 #2 Kelly 2018-06-19 16:10
"Patients who cannot afford to pay for the services should inform us and they will receive treatment free of any charges," Orem says. Jesus!

Why would any sane person pay if he /she can get the treatment or service free??? So will those who want free service get the same as those paying? Uganda can amuse and pain at the same time.

And the PS MoH only stops with rebuking without taking some actions? Why cant the ED Mulago take the clue and arrest those people charging?
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+4 #3 Lakwena 2018-06-19 16:46
In other words, corruption is the worse form of cancer, eating up Ugandans alive and as they see helplessly.
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+1 #4 Elly 2018-06-19 18:23
Quoting nkuutu kibedi:
Dr Jackson Orem is a thief and extremely unprofessional. You can't charge terminally ill patients!!!

Uganda dovt. pays for their treatment, and the UCI is not a profit making institute. The Ministry of Health should stop this madness!


Oryme should be arrested. This is impunity.

How can Cancer institute charge patients without following right procedure
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+1 #5 Akot 2018-06-19 20:07
nkuutu kibedi,
Kelly,
Lakwena,

Agreed, but let's be realistic when it comes to cancer! Treatment must only be held back for those who have it due to tobacco/drugs: they live the way they want & they are the ones to pay for consequences!

Pregnant women/mothers/fathers who smoke must be made to understand they are dangers to their own children & offices/public places must be free from tobacco/drugs to limit number of passive smokers who get cancer just because they live in tobacco infected homes-offices...!

Don't we have enough cancer patients due to bad food because they cannot afford to eat sanely?

Healthcare payed for with tax money should not be misused on people who live dangerousely - France-UK...are suffocating with health bills for these kind of patients!
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0 #6 gwok 2018-06-19 21:07
Quoting nkuutu kibedi:
Dr Jackson Orem is a thief and extremely unprofessional. You can't charge terminally ill patients!!!

Uganda dovt. pays for their treatment, and the UCI is not a profit making institute. The Ministry of Health should stop this madness!


My Dear, Uganda cannot make progress if that way of DEPENDENCE on government is not broken.

Look at INSURANCE as the alternative means for picking up such medical bills. That is how it is done in developed and "middle income" countries, the status that M7 claims to be heading Uganda into.
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0 #7 Saka Busolo 2018-06-19 23:30
This doctor is a thief and must be prosecuted.
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0 #8 Saka Busolo 2018-06-19 23:35
This doctor is a thief and must be prosecuted
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0 #9 Saka Busolo 2018-06-19 23:39
Dr Orem is a thief and must be prosecuted.
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0 #10 Phalanch 2018-06-19 23:48
As HIV was in early 80s , this charge has turned cancer into a death sentence , How many can they afford this treatment in today's Uganda were money believes only to the corrupt.
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