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Medical council sets new consultation fees

Dr Katumba Sentongo

Owing to increasing complaints of patients being overcharged at health facilities, the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council released a set of new guidelines streamlining average charges for particular health procedures.

Dr Katumba Sentongo, the Council registrar said the report on Professional Fees Guidelines for Health Care Professionals in Uganda will act as a guide for patients to rate how much they are likely to be charged before seeking particular services. He said the review was done after thoroughly analyzing data on professional fees in the region and are thought to be fair to both the service providers and seekers.

Some of the fees set include consultation for specialists set at Shs85, 000, general practitioners set at between Shs15952 and Shs30, 000. Fees paid to a specialist for performing a postmortem is set at Shs100, 000 and a general practitioner is set at ShsShs50, 000. According to the guidelines, the Intensive Care Unit should charge between Shs275, 000 and 500,000. Last year, cases of patients being detained for failure to foot their medical bills sparked media debate with many blaming hospitals for overcharging. However whereas setting fees caps might be a good idea, questions over how these guidelines will be implemented linger as medical centers are run as businesses whose fees are determined by market forces.

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editor@independent.co.ug

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