How does healthcare work in Uganda?

Both privately and publicly sponsored establishments are part of Uganda’s healthcare system. All healthcare institutions must adhere to government regulations. Pharmacies, clinics, and hospitals are all supported by private businesses. Although there is no universal health insurance program, private health insurance is offered by insurance firms. It is projected that just 0.5% of GDP is covered by health insurance. Many hospitals also operate their own health insurance programs. Particularly in cancer and private healthcare, Uganda’s medical institutions are luring American investment.

Although donor money makes up roughly 80% of resources, health only earned 9.8% of the national budget for 2021–2022. More and more, the government is thinking about investing in healthcare through public-private partnerships, where they provide the property and the private investors pay for building and facility operations. Only 13 of Uganda’s 23 licensed manufacturing facilities for pharmaceuticals and medical supplies are engaged in the country’s commercial pharmaceutical industry.

How does healthcare work in Uganda?

The private health sector is comprised of Private and Traditional Contemporary Medicine Practitioners. (TCMPs). These private sectors contribute to about 50% of the health care delivery. The public sectors include Government Health facilities, Health services departments of different Ministries. Several Ministry of Health functions has been delegated to National Autonomous Institutions.

Health services delivery is decentralized within national, districts and health sub-districts. The lowest level is supposedly the VHTs. Volunteers in villages facilitating Health Promotion, service delivery, community participation, and empowerment. At the district, levels are health centers III and II. Health center II provides an interaction between the health sector and communities. These provide outpatient and community outreach services. The health Center III provides basic preventive, promotive, and curative services. The next levels are general hospitals, which provide broad services such as surgeries. They are also for research and training. The regional referrals provide a higher level with more specialized clinical services. This also involves teaching and research.

The national referral Hospitals are the most comprehensive. They provide the highest level of specialist services besides all the clinical. The referral system is from the lowest to the highest level of care in the service delivery system. 

Does Uganda have good healthcare?

Uganda continues to have a good healthcare system when compared to African countries. It has made great progress in reproductive care. So, any woman in Uganda is safer about having babies than she used to be. While the standard of medical facilities in Uganda is different from those found in developed countries. There are private clinics in Kampala that offer a good level of provision. – some employing British doctors. Publicly run hospitals, and those in rural areas, may be overcrowded. And under-stocked, and private clinics are very expensive. Thus, ex-pats will want to consider having comprehensive private medical insurance. It’s worth investigating whether the insurance covers treatment and evacuation. English is commonly spoken across the country so a language barrier shouldn’t be a problem. Uganda’s health care system is ranked in 149th place out of 191 countries in the world by WHO. There is roughly one doctor per 1,000 people (not dissimilar to many neighboring states). Also, its population spends 7.2% of its GDP on keeping healthy.

Is healthcare in Uganda free?

In 2001, Uganda adopted a free healthcare policy. Here health services are provided free of charge in all government health facilities. The nature of Uganda’s healthcare system means that if a level II hospital is unable to manage a patient. It will refer to a unit at a higher level. Services in public institutions are meant to be free. But often health personnel extort money from people desperate for services. The patients frequently have to get the necessary medications from pharmacies. Or other drug vendors because the units frequently lack them.

The following describes the organization of Uganda’s health system:

Health Center II

Every parish in Uganda is required to have one of these centers, according to the health policy. Treatment for widespread ailments like malaria should be possible in a health center. It serves a very small population.

Health center III

A health center III facility should be found in every sub-county in Uganda. These centers should have about 18 staff, led by a senior clinical officer. This is run by a general outpatient clinic and a maternity ward. It should also have a functioning laboratory.

Health Center IV

A county or a parliamentary district may be served by a hospital of this level of healthcare. It serves seven of the sub-counties that make up Soroti county. A health center IV is a small medical facility. It ought to offer the same kinds of services as Health Center III. However, it should be able to admit patients and provide wards for men, women, and children. A senior medical official and another physician should be present. Operation theatre for emergency situations. Despite having 34 beds and seeing up to 100 outpatients per day, the Tiriri health center lacks a doctor.


In an ideal world, every area would have a hospital with all the services provided by a health center IV. It has specialized clinics (such as those for mental health) and consulting doctors. The district hospital in the town of Soroti also serves as a regional referral facility. It receives cases from neighboring district hospitals since it serves the Karamoja region.

How does healthcare work in Uganda?


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One response to “How does healthcare work in Uganda?”

  1. Anonymous

    Hvorfor betaler folk 250,000 ugx when it should be free? Poor people die because the doctors force money from poor with malaria when it`s already paid for.

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