By Max Patrick Ocaido
PARLIAMENT. Government has released the medical fees structure for the new Mulago Specialized Women & Neonatal Hospital.
The 450 bed capacity hospital that was opened to patients on Monday will be commissioned in October since the commencement of its construction in June 2015 at a cost of over $25m.
The new facility that was constructed to help decongest Mulago National Referral Hospital will enable women with complicated reproductive health problems to be treated and reduce referrals abroad for specialized reproductive and neonatal treatment.
According to Minister of Health, Jane Ruth Aceng, whereas the hospital will offer free services from 17th September to 9th October as an Independence gift to the people of Uganda, the facility will charge its patients as per the rates that have been made public.
“Services will be classified as standard, VIP and VVIP. Clinical services offered to all patients at all levels irrespective of pay, will be the same. The difference will be in accommodation, patient welfare and other non-clinical support services,” Aceng said while presenting a report on the facility on the floor of Parliament on Tuesday.
Aceng said that charges were arrived at after examining the costs of similar services within the country.
“On average the standard rates are slightly equivalent to (60%) of the charges in other hospitals. The charges for standard services will be used as a basis for increment for VIP and VVIP services at the rate of 25 percent and 50 percent respectively. However, Diagnostic (Imaging and Laboratory)' Intensive care Unit and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit services will be the same across all classifications,” she said.
She added that waiver System for patients unable to pay for the services will be put in place and staff working in the facility who require specialized services in the facility, will be given a waiver except for the IVF services, while refugees requiring services of the facility should be paid for by the supporting agencies such as UNHCR and Office of the Prime Minister and foreigners will be charged 25% more.
MPs, however protested the application of medical fees on the services saying that the government facility will not benefit majority of the women who cannot afford the cost.
“The first priority at this new health facility should be provision of health care, but not asking for payments,” James Baba, Koboko County MP said.
Minister Aceng requested MPs and Speaker Kadaga to visit the facility to appreciate the need for the charging of patients which she says is a moderate cost compared to the market price.
SOME OF THE FEES STRUCTURE FOR THE SERVICES
DNA paternity test -Shs500,000
Genetic counseling - Shs 150,000
Special x-ray examinations - Shs 100,000
Special ultra sound- Shs 100,000
CT-scan - Shs 90,000
Plain x-ray- Shs30,000
Cleaning and dressing - Shs 20,000
Cancer markers- Shs 40,000
Antenatal package- Shs 800,000
Immunization -Shs70,000 per visit