26 January 2013

Uganda: NRM Resolves to Boost Health Services

The NRM party caucus has expressed concern about the common practice of Ugandans seeking medical treatment abroad.

During its retreat recently, the caucus resolved to boost local capacity to handle medical complications through public-private partnerships.

Two senior Cabinet ministers, Eriya Kategaya, the First Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of East African Affairs, and Hillary Onek, the internal affairs minister, are currently receiving treatment in Kenya and India respectively.

The NRM caucus at the end of the retreat at the National Leadership Institute, Kyankwanzi passed a resolution, which attributed 'medical tourism' to lack of local expertise and equipment to handle certain medical conditions.

The Prime Minister, Amama Mbabazi, who is also the NRM party Secretary General presented the resolutions to journalists during a press conference at the Office of the Prime Minister at Postel Building.

"It must stop because of high costs involved (actual treatment, air tickets, accommodation, upkeep and other associated costs)."

"There is a lot of financial haemorrhage for Uganda because of the high costs involved," Mbabazi said.

The caucus also resolved to increase health workers' salaries as well as rehabilitate, equip and restock health centres, which will relieve pressure on Mulago Hospital.

On agriculture, the MPs resolved that the on-going review and restructuring of the NAADS programme be expedited and said that Banana bacterial wilt should be fought with urgency.

On water and environment, the caucus resolved to encourage tree planting as well as advising people to stop encroaching on forests or activities along river banks and lake shores.

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