Participants attending one-week health literacy training at Mulago hospital in Kamapla, have expressed displeasure with health providers over failure to handle some of their concerns while in hospital.
They said doctor-patient relationship is poor which discourages many patients from seeking medical attention.
The participants included groups of patients under The AIDS Support Organisation (TASO), Epilepsy Support Association Uganda (ESAU), Joyce Fertility Support Centre, Sickle Cell Association Uganda and Uganda Women's Cancer Support Organization.
The training was organized by the Community Health and Information Network (CHAIN), a local health activist organization and drew other participants from Kampala Capital City Authority health units.
"I once complained to a doctor about the medicine he had prescribed for me, but he instead barked at me saying why didn't I treat myself since if I knew more?" said Anne Nabakooza.
"It is real torture when you seek clarification from a doctor and he does not answer," said Rose Nantaba from Joyce Fertility Support Centre.
Nantaba, 42, said she was denied an answer when she asked whether she would ever produce a baby after several operations to remove fibroids.
CHAIN country manager, Regina Kamoga said the training was part of a campaign aimed at strengthening community partnership in promoting health literacy to break ignorance, fight myth and misconception about different diseases, prevention and treatment.
The campaign is funded by Merck & Company. Inc, a US based pharmaceutical company.
About 60% of Uganda's population is said to be seeking health care from traditional and complementary medicine practitioners before visiting the formal health sector, according to a report on Government health sector strategic plan 2010/11-2014/15.
Dr. Benjamin Mwesige attached to Uganda Cancer Institute blamed the inadequate doctor- patient attention on the poor health systems. He however encouraged patients never to give-up because silence on a health matter may result into death.
"We have a problem of human resource. Sometimes it is right we do not take the patients' history very well because of the long queue of other patients waiting to see one doctor," he said.
Mwesige added, "If a doctor does not give you an answer, go back the second time. If he fails, try another doctor but do not just keep quite."
A private medical consultant Dr. Christine Nabiryo advised patients to make use of their peers especially where there is no doctor. In Uganda the doctor-patient ratio is 1:15,000.
Participant suggested that in order to improve health services delivery, Government should increase the health budget, intensify health units' supervision, empower village health teams, increase health awareness as well as decentralize all health services up to community level.