Police in Mbale City have arrested a doctor attached to Mbale regional referral hospital on allegations of stealing 40 oxygen cylinders from the facility.
The medic is accused of stealing the cylinders which he allegedly took to his private facility, Life General Clinic and Laboratory in Nkoma ward, Industrial City Division, located about four Kilometers away from the regional referral hospital.
Police have since recovered one of the cylinders from the clinic and also arrested one of the staff at the clinic.
The Elgon region police spokesperson, Mr Rogers Taitika, confirmed the arrest and said detectives are investigating how the cylinders were stolen from the referral facility.
"We started our investigations and we received intelligence information that the cylinders were stolen and taken to a private health facility. The search was conducted and one oxygen cylinder of 50 liters was recovered from the Life General Clinic and Laboratory in Nkoma, “Mr Taitika said.
He said two suspects are being detained at Mbale Central Police Ststion as investigations continue.
Sources in Mbale regional referral hospital told Daily Monitor on Wednesday that the cylinders were stolen from the hospital in April this year.
"There's a problem in that hospital and we request higher authorities to intervene," one of the nurses, who preferred anonymity, said.
When contacted on the matter, Dr Emmanuel Tugaineyo, the Director of Mbale regional referral hospital, however, said he was not aware that oxygen cylinders had been stolen from the hospital.
"Do you think that I’m always aware of everything that happens here?"Dr Tugaineyo told this reporting before switching off his mobile phone.
A senior doctor at Mbale regional referral hospital who requested not to be named in the story, said the hospital is manned by both police and private security guards but wondered how someone could ferry the cylinders out of the hospital without security noticing.
“This hospital is guarded well by both police and private security guards. The oxygen cylinders were allegedly sneaked out of the hospital by an employee, “he said.
Daily Monitor learnt that there is a police post inside the hospital.
Mbale regional referral hospital, which was opened in 1924, has a capacity of over 400 beds.
The facility serves districts of Busia,Tororo, Butaleja, Budaka, Pallisa,Kibuku,Butebo,Bududa, Manafwa, Namisindwa, Mbale, Sironko, Bulambuli, Kapchorwa, Bukwo and Kween.
In 2019, Police in Mbale arrested a laboratory technician attached to The AIDS Support Organisation (TASO), over theft of about 60 HIV testing kits worth Shs2. 7 million from Bufumbo health center IV.