The covid-19 pandemic has unmasked and shaken many healthcare systems around the world. Many healthcare systems in the first world have been brought down to their knees by this pandemic. This has left many people gravely worried, especially those in “third world” countries whose leaders have their priorities utterly wrong. In Uganda, there is and has always been a fundamental problem leaving a blind spot that has been intentionally missed by the government for decades.
Patients have been turned into consumers, and this has become more evident during the COVID-19 pandemic. The country’s healthcare is no longer a basic human right, it is a commodity, similar to where one would go to a shop to buy a pair of shoes, and if they did not have money, it is highly unlikely that anyone will give you free shoes.
Under the current healthcare system in Uganda, the doctor-patient relationship is a commercial transaction, one between a salesman and a customer. Most interestingly, one where a patient who is ready and willing to pay the highest price gets the services. Sadly, a price tag has been permanently placed on life, and the COVID-19 pandemic has just exacerbated the whole situation.
One continues to wonder, how did we get here?, and how can Uganda as a nation get out of this sorry -lawless state? A country where there are no rules or regulations put in place to regulate the healthcare sector. A country that is categorised as a “third world” country, and indeed with rulers who are third world rulers with a third world thinking/mentality and greediness for money. These rulers have embezzled again and again healthcare funds, and have gone to build private hospitals where they continue to charge patients a ransom for healthcare.
I write with a very heavy heart, with the emergency of a new variant of the coronavirus more Ugandans will continue to lose life at the hands of selfish individuals. Our only weapon against the invisible beast is to keep your mask because this pandemic is far from over. Continue to sanitise and maintain social distance parameters and always try your best to stay safe.
Sadly, you are on your own, the government does not care about your existence. Unless we/you rise up and say enough is enough, you/we are doomed and people like Musenero would be serving a life sentence in prison for their role in embezzling healthcare funds.