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Thursday, July 8th, 2021

KAMPALA. The High Court today heard the case of Mulumba Moses & Center for Health Human Rights and
Development (CEHURD) vs Attorney General, The Medical and Dental Practitioners Council, & The Minister of Health. The case, which was filed on June 24th, 2021 challenges the government, and the medical
council for failure to act in response to exorbitant, unjustified, and extortionate fees hospitals are charging for the
management and treatment of COVID-19.

In today’s hearing, the High Court ordered:
1. The Government, Minister of Health and Medical and Dental Practitioners Council to make
regulations on fees chargeable by hospitals managing and treating COVID -19 patients
2. The Medical and Dental Practitioners Council to make recommendations to the Minister of Health on
reasonable fees chargeable by hospitals for treatment and management of persons suffering from

See details of the Court Order >>>

“Today the court has ruled in favour of the fundamental health rights of patients. It has ordered government and
professional councils to regulate fees for COVID-19 treatment services so that patients are charged fairly. This is
a big win for all Ugandans,” Moses Mulumba, CEHURD Executive Director and an applicant in the case said,
following the court hearing.

On March 11th, 2020 the World Health Organisation declared the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) a global
pandemic. Uganda registered its first confirmed COVID-19 case on March 21st, 2020, and the country was put
under lock down shortly thereafter. The lock down was relaxed when the reported number of COVID-19 cases
came down.

In May 2021, the Minister of Health, Dr Ruth Aceng announced that Uganda was reporting a significant increase
in COVID-19 cases, signalling the second wave of COVID-19 infections, with a preponderance likely being the
much more transmissible and aggressive “delta variant” of COVID-19. The Minister warned that the second wave
is usually more aggressive that the first. Ugandan hospitals are currently overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients
requiring intensive management, including Oxygen in order to beat the virus. The few Intensive Care Units in the
country are overwhelmed and stock out of oxygen has become routine.

A survey of media reports in June 2021 revealed that a day in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at a private hospital
in Kampala will cost a COVID-19 patient between Shs2 million to Shs10 million per day depending on the facility.
A patient with moderate symptoms is likely to pay between Shs1.5 million and Shs5 million daily, depending on
where they go. Treatment typically lasts weeks, resulting in medical costs too exorbitant to bear.
Uganda is currently under 42 days of a strict lock down. As the effects of COVID-19 continue to ravage the
country, more people are going to require treatment and management of the virus. Since there is no regulatory
framework to rein in hospitals, these high changes will continue.

Today’s High Court decision is a remedy for this crisis. We are ready to work with the government, the Medical
council and the Health Minister to ensure that the Court’s orders are implemented urgently and those responsible to heed the High Court orders and regulate the rates charged for the management and treatment of COVID-19. This will give Ugandans a fair chance to access COVID-19 treatment.

For more information, contact Ibrahim Nsereko 0702245536 or email and copy

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