Kampala, Uganda | URN | The opposition in Parliament of Uganda has called for a revision of the 2021-2022 financial year budget to cater for the COVID-19 crisis that has hit the country.
The call to include COVID-19 support in the budget was made during a press conference jointly addressed by the Leader of Opposition (LoP) Mathias Mpuuga Nsamba, and representatives of the Justice Forum (JEEMA), Forum for Democratic Change (FDC) and National Unity Platform (NUP), among others. Together, they said that the current health system needs to be supported to handle the COVID-19 treatment emergencies.
According to Mpuuga, since the new budget has not yet been executed, the 44.7 trillion Shillings budget for the financial year 2021/22 should be adjusted through a motion of Parliament, to avail more funds for COVID-19 vaccine procurement, to remunerate the health workers, and facilitate the procurement of ambulances, drugs and oxygen among others.
He also called for an amendment on the new tax measures to address the constraints of the suffering Ugandans and the economy.
He also called on the President to assent to the National Social Security Fund (NSSF) bill to enable access to the funds for Ugandans who are currently suffering, and battling COVID-19, at a time when hospitals are charging an arm and a leg for treatment. He also asked the government to engage health facilities in offering minimal costs for the treatment for COVID-19.
Mpuuga also called for a review of the lockdown every two weeks to test the veracity of the measures put in place adding that locking down the country without any action is like running away from the pandemic. He says that the lockdown should have been phased, and not a declaration of 42 days of lockdown.
On the fate of traders in Kampala, Mpuuga observed a need for an arrangement to allow the traders to survive during the lockdown because many of them now have their goods locked in their business premises, yet they have no other means of survival and no money at their disposal.
Ngora Woman MP Isodo Stella Apolot says that the health care system is currently broken but the government has not come out clearly to ensure that Ugandans have access to health services.