Government should focus on improving hospitals in order to help Ugandans who are losing lives due to exorbitant hospital bills from private facilities, following a deadly second wave of COVID-19.
The call was made by Gen. Mugisha Muntu the Alliance for National Transformation (ANT) party president who wonders if there is going to be a 3rd lockdown.
Uganda is currently in a 2nd lockdown that will last 42 days. However, with the number of deaths increasing and more people getting ill, many people are worried government might announce an extension of the lockdown if things do not change for the better.
In a statement released on Wednesday morning, Muntu said that in 2020, they heard that Government locked down the Country to buy time, borrow money, learn more about and slow the spread of COVID-19.
“While we were hiding from the virus, loans were borrowed, budgets passed, and donations received and there after misused/ stolen. AS a Country we demand accountability for both the time and money. So far, the proof we have is that this Government did nothing and learnt nothing. Money went into the campaigns and individual businesses and as a result, the medical workers continue to plead for Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) and risk allowances! What a shame!” he said.
Adding that Government seems to take issue with private facilities charging Ugandans exorbitant fees for services. But wonders if there’s any Ugandan who would run to these profit-making hospitals if Kabale, Masaka, Soroti, Jinja, Mbale, Mbarara, and Mulago could meet their needs.
“The Government of Uganda has persistently refused to commit to the funding levels required under the Abuja Declaration. It is sickening to hear this Government led by H.E Yoweri Museveni Tibuhaburwa, using excuses and comparisons that COVID-19 defied even the best medical systems in the world, how can this be the Government’s primary focus? What is it to us as Ugandans?” Gen. Muntu wondered.
He argues that government should have fixed the situation as COVID is not a condemnation section of some prison facility.
“If our facilities were good enough cancer, asthma, hypertension, or other underlying conditions would have been under control. Perhaps the deaths would also be low. To date the regime continues to ferry their sick to Nairobi and other countries. Why can’t you stay and trust in the very systems you have destroyed?”
He also argues that children carried to their homes Covid 19 and a number of grandmothers and parents, country-wide, have died from the infection.
In 2020, Government of Uganda received Ugx 5.8 Trillion, including Ugx 1.9 Trillion from IMF, Ugx 1.2 Trillion from World Bank, Ugx 1.3 Billion from Stanbic Bank, and Ugx 17.2 Billion from the European Union, in loans.
He says the party demands an immediate audit of donations, loans, Supplementary budgets, and grants toward Covid 19. And that they also call on Government to make every effort to provide, support, and empower VHT with the necessary Vitamins to be delivered to the people. Empower Health Centre 3s to serve the people.