Eight Mbale hospital staff held in State House raid

The main gate of Mbale Regional Referral Hospital. A cartel involving guards, clinicians, doctors and others at the facility often refer patients to nearby private facilities for private gain. PHOTO / YAHUDU KITUNZI

What you need to know:

  • The arrest of the officials followed a two-week investigation by the Monitor and NTV Uganda, subsidiaries of Nation Media Group, into impropriety at the region’s largest public health facility.

The State House Health Monitoring Unit (HMU) in liaison with Police in Mbale City have arrested eight staff of Mbale Regional Referral Hospital over corruption and mismanagement of patients.

The arrest of the officials followed a two-week investigation by the Monitor and NTV Uganda, subsidiaries of Nation Media Group, into impropriety at the region’s largest public health facility.

The investigation unearthed a cartel involving some doctors, nurses, clinicians, and administrative support staff at the blood bank, guards, and other attendants that work together with private clinics near the hospital.

 The Mbale City Police Commander, Mr Samuel Abbedi Aliria, said those arrested will soon be taken to court.

“Most of the arrested are hospital staff for corruption and mismanagement of patients. They are currently detained at Mbale city Central police station,” he said.

The Monitor has learnt that about 20 people were amputated at the hospital after being mismanaged by either quacks or junior medical workers.

Mr Abbedi said as a result of beefing up security in the hospital, police managed to arrest a hawker, who has been stealing mobile phones from caretakers and patients at the facility for long.

A source familiar with the investigations told this newspaper that they are digging into procurement, financial and human resource management systems of the hospital that have led to smuggling patients from the facility to private clinics.

Dr Ayella Ataro, the assistant director of the State House Health Monitoring Unit, said they are following up the public outcry about the poor service delivery in the hospital.

 “Patients have fallen prey to these extortion and bribery syndicates, the effect on some of them is profoundly long-lasting,” Dr Ataro said.

 A 20-year-old boy, who requested not to be named,  said he was admitted to the hospital last December following a motorcycle accident that left him with a compound fracture.

After a few days at the hospital where he was barely attended to, he says he was sneaked out of the facility by unknown people to a private clinic in Nkoma Ward, Northern Division.

 At the clinic, the boy immediately underwent an x-ray and an operation that included clamping his bones, which cost Shs1.5m. Three months after the operation, the bone clamps snapped and his injuries degenerated.

 Scans conducted later showed the first operation was poorly conducted. For a new corrective operation, he required Shs4.5m which he doesn’t have.

The Mbale Resident City Commissioner, Mr Ahamada Washaki, said the intervention by  State House has changed the situation in the hospital.

Dr Warren Namara, the Executive Director of the State House Health Monitoring Unit, said they will leave no stone unturned.

“We are investigating a number of things and we have discovered a lot,” Dr Namara said.


Eight Mbale hospital staff

held in State House raid


BY YAHUDU KITUNZI


The State House Health Monitoring Unit (HMU) in liaison with Police in Mbale City have arrested eight staff of Mbale Regional Referral Hospital over corruption and mismanagement of patients.

The arrest of the officials followed a two-week investigation by Daily Monitor and NTV Uganda, subsidiaries of Nation Media Group, into impropriety at the region’s largest public health facility.

The investigation unearthed a cartel involving some doctors, nurses, clinicians, and administrative support staff at the blood bank, guards, and other attendants that work together with private clinics near the hospital.

 The Mbale City Police Commander, Mr Samuel Abbedi Aliria, said those arrested will soon be taken to court.

“Most of the arrested  are hospital staff for corruption and mismanagement of patients. They are currently detained at Mbale city Central police station,” he said.

Daily Monitor has learnt that about 20 people were amputated at the hospital after being mismanaged by either quacks or junior medical workers.

Mr Abbedi said as a result of beefing up security in the hospital, police managed to arrest a hawker, who has been stealing mobile phones from caretakers and patients at the facility for long.

A source familiar with the investigations told this newspaper that they are digging into procurement, financial and human resource management systems of the hospital that have led to smuggling patients from the facility to private clinics.

Dr Ayella Ataro, the assistant director of the State House Health Monitoring Unit, said they are following up the public outcry about the poor service delivery in the hospital.

 “Patients have fallen prey to these extortion and bribery syndicates, the effect on some of them is profoundly long-lasting,” Dr Ataro said.

 A 20-year-old boy, who requested not to be named,  said he was admitted to the hospital last December following a motorcycle accident that left him with a compound fracture.

After a few days at the hospital where he was barely attended to, he says he was sneaked out of the facility by unknown people to a private clinic in Nkoma Ward, Northern Division.

 At the clinic, the boy immediately underwent an x-ray and an operation that included clamping his bones, which cost Shs1.5m. Three months after the operation, the bone clamps snapped and his injuries degenerated.

 Scans conducted later showed the first operation was poorly conducted. For a new corrective operation, he required Shs4.5m which he doesn’t have.

The Mbale Resident City Commissioner, Mr Ahamada Washaki, said the intervention by  State House has changed the situation in the hospital.

Dr Warren Namara, the Executive Director of the State House Health Monitoring Unit, said they will leave no stone unturned.

“We are investigating a number of things and we have discovered a lot,” Dr Namara said.

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