Legislators Protest Free cancer treatment for Foreigners.

In Summary
  • Foreigners don't pay taxes.
  • Ugandans don't get free medical care even within East Africa. 
  • Cancer institute says the Institute was designated as a center of excellence in oncology with in East Africa region.
Officials from Cancer institute apearing before PAC
Image: Parliament of Uganda

Members of Parliament on the Public Accounts Committee Central are concerned about provision of free treatment to foreigners at the Uganda cancer institute. 

This was after the Executive Director of cancer institute Dr Jackson Orem informed the committee that the institute provides free treatment to Ugandans and foreigners.

.Amuria District Woman Mp Suzan Amero questioned the basis for offering free treatment to foreigners who do  not contribute taxes to Uganda.

Dr Orem clarified that the 20 per cent of foreigners receiving free treatment are primarily East Africans for whom there is no established framework for charging medical fees.

However Amero  noted  that Ugandans do not receive free medical care even within East Africa, citing an instance where Members of Parliament who went to attend the East African Community games in Arusha had to rely on insurance or cash payments for medical services.

“Why do you give them free treatment because that money should be the non-tax revenue that should be spent on other things to look after Ugandans.

 In response Dr Orem explained that Uganda cancer institute is a public, specialized, tertiary care medical facility that was designated as East Africa 's center of excellence in oncology.

The chairperson of the committee Mohammed Muwanga Kivumbi indicated that they would recommend to parliament to discontinue free treatment for foreigners and replaced with a fee-based system.The cancer institute registers 7400 new patients every year.

The Outpatient Department registers 250-300 people daily. Uganda as a country register’s 3500 new cancer patients yearly.