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Health Budget could reduce to 3%- researcher

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The health budget which currently stands at 6% could fall to 3% in the next two years, Dr Sam Okuonzi a health policy researcher and former head of policy analysis in the Ministry of Health has predicted.

Okuonzi who was speaking at a symposium held to assess the strides the country has made towards attaining universal health coverage in Kampala on Tuesday, said studies have shown that even as governments like Uganda have resolved to offer free healthcare, health is a personal duty and that even if there’s solidarity by policymakers to provide health services, it has nothing to do with how one maintains their own health.

He said even as Uganda is one of the countries that signed the Abuja Declaration committing to be allocating 15% of their national budget to health, the highest the country has ever gone is 10%.

Dr David Okello, the Director Non-Communicable Diseases at African Center for Global Health and Social Transformation (ACHEST) said because the country has failed in meeting many health commitments including those made in Abuja they have chosen to stay away from discussing healthcare funding by government but how individuals should cater for their own health.

Currently, even with the free healthcare policy, individuals sponsor their own healthcare out of the pocket with figures showing that 40.9% of the people pay to get treatment.

State Minister for Health in- charge of Primary Health Care, Dr Joyce Kaducu Moriku says they are developing new strategies that help people access quality health services without having to incur a lot pointing out the national health insurance bill which is still at cabinet-level as one of the solutions.

Moriku says that they are still studying and updating the draft to make it comprehensive enough before it moves to parliament.

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