President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has asked Ugandans to embrace the available health care in the country instead of seeking treatment abroad.
Museveni made the call during the official opening of Mulago Specialized Women and Neonatal hospital at Mulago hill on Tuesday.
According to Museveni, there is no need for Ugandans to seek treatment abroad since government is doing everything in its power to train and provide the necessary facilities such as the Women's hospital.
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Data from the Health Ministry shows that Uganda loses more than Shillings 200 billion (about USD 70 million) through medical tourism. Most of this money is spent on treatment in India to treat disease like heart defects and leukemia.
There have been complaints from the public about the costs of treatment at Mulago Specialized Women and Neonatal hospital since it opened its door to the public.
The Health Ministry has defended the pricing, saying it is necessary to maintain the standard of services at the hospital.
Sarah Opendi, the General Duties Health Minister retaliated their statement that access of services will be attached to the hospital referral system or ability to pay for the service.
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Dr. Evelyn Nabunya, the Acting Executive Director Mulago Specialized Women's and Neonatal Hospital, says they have attended to more than 1000 patients since the hospital opened on September 17th 2018.
"We have offered services to around 1,040 women who have visited us since we opened. Most of them were in need of fertility treatment,” she said.
Baterana Byarugaba, the Executive Director Mulago National Referral Hospital called upon government to increase funding to the hospital.
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Construction of the hospital begun in 2015. The hospital has 11 operation theaters and seven VIP wards with a total bed capacity of 53 and a general ward with 390 beds.
It is estimated to have cost Shillings 93 billion (USD 25 million) provided by the Islamic Development Bank-IDB.