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Lubowa hospital: Uganda should learn from the Lesotho experience

Salima Namusobya, executive director of the Initiative for Social and Economic Rights (ISER), says Uganda should learn from the Lesotho experience before implementing the public private partnership (PPP) for the International Specialised Hospital of Uganda (ISHU) at Lubowa. “It is, therefore, very likely that the government will spend taxpayers’ money on debt repayment for a hospital that will serve a small number of people, yet the Shs1.3 trillion shillings would go a long way in improving the public healthcare system in the country. The money could, for example, also go towards improving the Uganda Cancer and Heart Institutes at the Mulago National Referral Hospital. It is not too late for Uganda to learn from the Lesotho experience and drop this PPP that is coming at a very high cost to the public.”

Source: Daily Monitor

When Electricity Means Life

Primah Kwagala of the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development in Uganda writes that health facilities should not be targeted by privatised energy providers. “When Uganda’s privatized electricity supplier shuts off power to hospitals, the results are catastrophic. In 2012, 150 babies on oxygen concentrators at a hospital in Jinja died after utility company UMEME Uganda Limited turned off the electricity with no prior notice. In 2015, Kiboga District Hospital was without power for over a month. UMEME disconnected the supply because the government of Uganda had not paid the bill of over 100 million Uganda Shillings (US$26,600). The utility has a right to be paid for the services it provides. But when it comes to hospitals, the consequences are too grave for such hard and fast rules.”

Source: allAfrica.com

Efforts to partially privatize the national pension scheme have been met with skepticism

Efforts to partially privatize the national pension scheme have been met with skepticism and calls for reform to improve its operation. President Museveni is not supporting the bill. “In 2015, at one of the NSSF celebrations, the President said: ‘Some people have been coming to me with this idea that the sector will be more efficient when private players are allowed in, but I just kept quiet. I have never opposed or supported the proposed reforms.’ He continued: ‘Unless these people who are pushing for liberalization are saying that NSSF is being mismanaged, they will really have to convince me more.’ At the same function, he observed: ‘Having one player has one good advantage that we have money available for any useful capital development projects. (…) From the ULS, the Workers' Unions, the Workers' MPs and the NSSF, the message has been one: Amend the NSSF Act but do not repeal it.”

Source: allAfrica.com