If Uganda ever issued a FLOOD WARNING today would have been the day! Our entrance into the hospital was first stalled because of a rapid fury of rain drops. Once we finally entered the facility we walked through the assessment area where the potential patients waited to see if they would be admitted into the hospital. It was quite a sight to see because people were everywhere! They were sitting in the chairs, standing along the walls and sitting on the floor in every direction. Once we entered the board room we were introduced to Mr. Ssekabira who was the executive directors’ public relations guy. He took us through the hierarchical system of Uganda and explained to us how their health care system worked. There are 5 levels to their system, the lowest forms are titled Health Care three and Health Care four and the government primarily focuses on these two levels. The third level is distributed in every district and is called the District Hospitals. The next two specified levels of the health care system are considered referral hospitals. The 2nd most comprehensive level of health care is received at the Regional Referral hospitals and there are 11 around the country of Uganda. The most comprehensive is the one we visited called Mulago, it’s the National Referral Hospital and is the only one in the country. Mulago accepts only patients who are referred and who are in emergency situations. Mulago’s services are very comprehensive and have a range of departments and categories from acute pediatrics, to labor, to AIDS care. Mulago hospital also has an outpatient clinic for the less life threatening cases for those surgical/medical procedures that cannot be handled at any of the lower facilities in the country. We also met with Dr. Fred who is a physician of the hospital as well as an AIDS specialist and took us into depth about the services they offer to HIV/AIDS stricken individuals. They considered Mulago a tertiary institution with upper level surgical procedures, but said because of the nature of the location they use this as a primary care unit-which it is not. For their AIDS unit they have 2 comprehensive categories: preventive services and clinical care. After our discussion in the board room, a munch of medical focused students took a tour around the facility and we were able to see the pharmacy as well as a medical ward. They were both a sight to see because of the low supply of drugs as well as the overcrowding in the halls...
The public relations guy said "that the health care system is broken down and does not work properly and says that the overcrowding is mainly due to the minor ailments that get admitted to Mulago". If the national hospital has the best of the best, do you think that it’s fair to turn away individuals for their “minor ailments”?
What role does health care access play in the sustainable development of an economy?
Do you guys think that quality health care is a necessity for development to occur?
Given the sights we saw at Mulago, if you had the chance, what range of services would you use funds towards to emphasize? Access to drugs? More technology? Training for doctors? Preventative health care? Which would be the best for the sustainable development for the country?