Government must prioritise health sector

Friday July 20 2018


By Patrick Gukiina

Of recent, there has been controversy over the decision by the government to provide bulletproof pick-up trucks to boost MPs security. While many argue that such money should be used in other priority areas, others say security should be limited to MPs, but enhanced for all Ugandans.

This debate begs answers to the question, what are our priorities? I believe that one of the major and fundamental obligations of the government is to ensure that people’s lives and property are protected. When we talk of lives, we also envisage also the notion that people are in good health.

People pay taxes expecting quality services in return. However, what I see is detrimental, for instance, when an ordinary person diagnosed with kidney failure and requires may be a kidney transplant at a cost of Shs200 million, where do we expect them to get such money? We have to find solutions to this problem before it catches up with everybody.

For many Ugandans, the next thing that comes to mind is death, not because they have to die, but because they cannot afford treatment. How can we achieve Vision 2040 when our people continue to die of sometimes avoidable deaths? Even when we prioritise roads, it shouldn’t be lost on us that these roads are used by people who are alive. I appeal to the government to prioritise improvement of health services across the country.

Anybody who knows or has tried to learn some economics and understood the concept of economic development will know that health is one of the parameters that must be fixed in order to obtain sustainable development, hence it is a sector that deserves to be taken with the seriousness it deserves. I, therefore, call upon all the stakeholders in this country to find a lasting and formidable solution to the country’s health quagmire.

Today it may be someone else who finds themselves in a situation where they are confronted by demands for huge sums of money for treatment, but tomorrow it maybe you. I propose that the government finds a better way of handling health-related issues in the country.

My view is that where the government finds difficulties in rolling out effective health services, for instance, by procuring the requisite health equipment and supplies, it should outsource help from other countries. It can also sponsor more Ugandans to study and become medical doctors, nurses, midwives, etc.

No one in Uganda should die because they cannot afford treatment since it is the duty of the State to provide proper health services to its people.