Gov’t Spends UGX 296 Million on Accident Victims Daily- Report

Parliament has adopted a report by the Health Committee recommending heavy fines and withdrawal of driving licenses for frequent victims of over speeding, driving under influence of alcohol, and reckless driving.

This is one of the 17 recommendations in a report on the magnitude of road traffic injuries reported to public hospitals and the cost of treatment.

The report highlights a daily expenditure by the government of 236.3 million Shillings on critical accident victims and 344.2 million on moderately ill accident victims. According to the report, the government spends on average, 296.48 million shillings daily on treating and caring for injured trauma patients.

This was presented to the House on Tuesday by the Health Committee Chairperson, Dr. Charles Ayume. 

“The study aimed at determining the total admissions of accident victims and injuries in 17 Regional Referral Hospitals in Uganda, analyzing the type of accidents and total admissions, conducting an analysis of the estimated cost of traffic road accidents by looking at the Uganda Police Crime Reports for three financial years from 2019/2020 to 2021/2022 and to develop a policy brief priority actions, solutions, and recommendations,” said Ayume.

Ayume said that statistics and data from police indicate reckless and careless driving as the primary cause of crashes in the country and between 2019 and 2021, the two caused a combined total of 33,208 crashes.

“From the data obtained from the Regional Referral Hospitals -RRHS, a total of 5,986 accidents were registered in admission in 2019-2020 due to motorcycles, 9,708 entries in 2020-2021, and a massive increase up to 11,452 admissions in 2021-2022. The average monthly admissions of 4,012 for trauma patients represent about 45.89 percent of total Regional Referral Hospital overall admissions,” reads the report.

Ayume said that on average, the cost of treating a critically ill patient is 3.68 million Shillings a day and the cost rises to 13.9 million if there is a necessity for surgical intervention.

“The estimates showed that half of the admissions require surgical intervention. In that case, it means that, on average, the government spends about 236.3 million shillings per day on treating critically ill accident victims,” said Ayume.

He further reported that on average, the cost of treating a moderately sick patient is 3.58 million daily, and with surgical intervention required, the price rises to 13.76 million. This means that government spends about 344.2 million daily on caring for and treating moderately ill accident victims.

On average, the cost of care and treatment for an injured or sick mildly patient is about 1.64 million daily without surgical interventions. But if surgical interventions are costed, this cost rises to 11.85 million per day.

Ayume says that based on the numbers from Regional Referral Hospitals, the government spends on average, 296.48 million shillings daily on treating and caring for injured trauma patients.

The committee recommended strict and regular speed limit enforcement by traffic police officers and the general public on roads, ensuring and maintaining standardized driving training and competence-based qualification, maintaining strict enforcement of traffic laws, removing roadside dangers such as buildings on road reserves, and proper road design for safety, among others.

The report was adopted unanimously by MPs following a debate. Speaker Anita Among tasked the government to present an action report to parliament.

In her earlier statement, Among requested the government to have strict regulations on the registration and licensing of Boda Bodas and the need to subject the riders to regular riding proficiency and having tests as a pre-condition for license renewal.

“So many people are dying on a daily basis and this must be handled. In the past weeks, this House has raised matters concerning the issue of road accidents, especially on Boda Bodas. The safety of our roads depends on the road users, the vehicles, cyclists, anybody on the road, and then the road condition. These factors influence the safety of our people,” Among said.

She said that the enforcers of traffic laws need to be strict and ensure that accidents on roads reduce.

She recommended legislation of more punitive measures against errant drivers.

Kira Municipality MP Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda said that there is a need for the country to observe laws in all aspects in order for sanity to prevail.

Rukia Nakadama, the Third Deputy Prime Minister committed to ensuring that road penalties are effectively enforced.

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