The Masaka Regional Referal Hospital authorities have defied the State House Health Monitoring Unit (HMU) and ordered staff to vacate the hospital quarters.
Last month, the unit stopped management of the hospital from increasing staff contributions towards maintaining their quarters. This was subsequent to a proposal by management to increase the fees from Shs30,000 to Shs 50,000 per month.
A section of the affected health workers petitioned HMU after receiving notifications that the hospital authorities were going to evict whoever had not re-applied for the staff quarters.
Dr Nathan Onyachi, the Director Masaka Regional Referral Hospital, says that the hospital asked all health workers that had lost the houses,to file appeals so that their cases can be looked into by the hospital management.
He says that some of the staff who lost their appeals had not completely applied for the houses yet it was an important requirement for anyone to be considered while others obtained low marks according to the house allocation score chart which considered issues like working in critical service delivery areas such as theatre, ICU and labour ward among other units.
Dr Onyachi says some staff were not complying with payment of maintenance fees while others had allocated the houses to their friends and relatives for years.
“Some of these people want to stay in those houses forever and yet their colleagues who have joined from other health centres do not have where to stay, that’s why we suggested that one can only occupy the house for a period of three years and then they can reapply in case they want to reside there again,” he said.
"We do this for purposes of being fair to everyone. We gave them three months notice which elapse end of this month, to vacate and make way for other people to come in," he said.
However, a health worker who preferred anonymity claims that most of the staff that retained the houses bribed the committee.
Justus Nsabimana, the nurses’ union chairperson for Masaka regional referral hospital says that the action is uncalled for.
He wonders why the hospital management is rushing to evict the staff yet the health monitoring unit had asked the management to maintain the status quo.