For a country whose health care structure is in a coma, Uganda’s government still spends at least $150 million every year treating top government officials abroad.
This amount, earmarked for treatment, is nearly half of the budgets of health and education ministries.
“That amount of money is just enough to have the necessary facilities needed to attend to all these treated abroad,” Makerere University economics lecturer Augustus Nuwagaba, said in an interview.
He said: “That amount of money can help in better health delivery and at the same time stop capital outflow, something that largely contributes in weakening our Shilling.”
Shedding more light on the state of health care in Uganda, Prof. Nuwagaba argued that the country’s problem is not lack of medical practitioners but poor remuneration. “Almost half of the 40,000 Ugandan professionals in North America are health personnel, this means our problem is not the human resource,” he said.
Uganda is 186th out of 191 nations in the World Health Organisation (WHO) rankings. Life expectancy is among the lowest across the globe. One in every 200 births ends the mother’s life and around 1 million people are living with HIV.
Malaria accounts for 14% of all deaths, less than 10% of children under five are sleeping under insecticide-treated nets.
51% of Ugandans don’t have any contact with public health care facilities.
Do you think the annual expenditure of $150 million on foreign health care for government officials is justifiable in this case?