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Uganda Has No Internationally Accredited Hospital-Health Ministry

None of the hospitals in Uganda is accredited to operate as an international facility, according to the Health Ministry.

The Ministry notes that many hospitals deliberately refer to themselves as International to attract more clients.

Dr. Jackson Amone, the Commissioner Integrated Curative Services, says there is no difference between hospitals that claim to be international and those that are not.     

 Dr. Amone says the “international Hospitals” don’t offer any service that cannot be gotten elsewhere.

“The hospitals offer the same services. There’s nothing special they have. The only different aspect might be in the size of the facility and name but at the end of the day, the same services are offered in a hospital claiming to be of international standard and that one with a name like St. Claire Medical Centre.”    

He emphasizes that health care is not like the education sector. “In education we have international schools; these schools offer different curriculums and services.  In medicine, there is no difference,” he said.

Officially health centers in Uganda are graded into health center threes, health center fours, district, and regional and national referral hospitals.  According to the Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council-UMDPC, which licenses and registers private health facilities in the country, there are 2000 registered private health facilities in Uganda.      

20 of these are big hospitals that can admit at least 20 people. Dr. Katumba Ssentongo Gubala, the Registrar Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council, says they don’t know of any international hospital. 
“We are concerned with making sure that all health facilities operate according to Uganda’s standards. We don’t know of any facility that has international accreditation and if there are any, this accreditation does not change anything because all hospitals go through the same process,” he said.
 The council conducts an inspection at Shillings 300,000 before it licenses a health facility to operate. Once an inspection license is issued, the facility then pays a mandatory registration fee of Shillings 150,000.

In addition, Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council issues a practicing license and registration documents of a supervising doctor.

Uganda Radio Network visited some of the international health facilities to try and ascertain the kind of services they offer. 

Our reporter established that the facilities offer services such as dialysis care, cardiology, cancer treatment, plastic surgery, radiology services, general surgery, orthopedic surgery, ENT, urology, maternal health services and pediatric services.  

Peter Mulindwa, the Public Relations manager International Hospital Kampala, says apart from offering unique services, the health facility is accredited by the Council for Health Service Accreditation of Southern Africa (COHSASA)-a health care quality accrediting body based in South Africa.

Being accredited by COHSASA means that the standard of health care is of high quality. Accreditation is carried annually. 

According to COHSASA, 600 health facilities in South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, Lesotho, Namibia, Rwanda, Nigeria, Zambia, Tanzania, Ghana, Egypt and Kenya have been accredited so far.

Credit: URN

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