When social media was hit by designed cartoon posters of “Omwavu wa Kufa” the posts were taken for granted but this was never a case at Mayanja memorial hospital in Mbarara city especially in this corona virus pandemic.
Despite many attempts to accommodate the poor (small income earners) through access to better services delivery by government and other stakeholders, management at Mayanja memorial hospital has proved in a broadday light that if the poor is to die then s/he will die from nowhere but in their compounds.
The management which has taken advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic that has almost left everyone living on a from hand to mouth economy, is siphoning individuals of the little they are left with and this time by hiking COVID-19 testing and treatment fees.
According to a notice by the hospital management which was seen by PARROTS UG, each patient with signs and symptoms of COVID-19 is charged an amount of UShs 1,050,000 (One million and fifty thousand shillings) per day when admitted at the hospital.
The charges include private room and ward management fee worth Ugx 200,000; Doctor’s risk allowances = 150,000/= per day; Nurse’s risk allowances per day = Ugx 150,000; Cleaner’s risk allowances per day = Ugx 50,000; Laundry attendant risk allowances per day = Ugx 50,000; Physiotherapist = Ugx 50,000; Lab personnel risk allowance = Ugx 50,000; Physician risk allowances = Ugx 120,000 and Oxygen costs per day = Ugx 200,000 all amounting to UShs 1,050,000 daily cost for routine services as highlighted above.
Furthermore, the hospital has set an initial charge of UShs 2m for each patient paid upon admission.
“An initial deposit of 2,000,000 Ugx (Two million shillings) is a MUST,” read a notice.
A source who talked to Parrots UG on conditions of anonymity disclosed that patients are forced to buy some of the PPE equipments on top of paying huge sums of the money.
This source said the hospital is taking advantage of the prevalences to over milk patients. She appealed to government to take quick actions in regulating the fares charged to COVID-19 patients in private hospitals. Attempts to talk to the hospital management were futile.