Monday April 21 2014

HIV-negative man sues Rubaga hospital for putting him on ARVs


A 64-year-old man has sued Uganda Martyrs Hospital-Rubaga, seeking court orders compel the health facility to pay him damages for putting him on anti-retroviral drugs (ARVs) for the last 15 years when he is HIV-negative.
Mr Zebron Hategeka has sued Rubaga hospital jointly with the Adventist Medical Centre, which first diagnosed him as HIV-positive.

He accuses Rubaga hospital of professional negligence when it failed to conduct an additional HIV test to confirm his earlier “HIV positive results” before putting him on anti-retroviral therapy.

Mr Hategeka says Rubaga hospital relied on what he called “wrong” results from another health facility, in this case the Adventist Medical Centre, where he had carried out an HIV test. The results of this test became the basis for him being given ARVs, he says in papers filed in the High Court in Kampala.
In his suit that was filed on Wednesday, last week, Mr Hategeka claims he had been on ARVs since 1999 to February, this year.

He says that after undertaking several HIV tests, including at the same hospital, to ascertain his HIV status, he was found negative and that he was told he never had the virus in the first place.

Court order
Subsequently, the court has ordered Rubaga hospital and Adventist Medical Centre, which first diagnosed him as HIV-positive, to file their defences within 15 days before a hearing date can be fixed.
Rubaga hospital is one of the oldest hospitals in Uganda, founded in 1899.
It is run by the Board of Trustees of Kampala Catholic Archdiocese.

The case
According to Mr Zebron Hategeka, Rubaga hospital should be held liable for professional negligence and wants it to compensate him for alleged financial sabotage he has suffered on grounds that the doctors advised him to reduce on his working hours.
He also wants Rugaba hospital to pay him damages for the mental anguish and stigmatisation he has suffered for the past 15 years.