Masindi hospital chokes on utility bills

Masindi hospital started as a health aid post for the East African Railway workers in 1922. It was taken over by the colonial government in 1935 after which it was handed over to the government in 1965 as a Health Centre IV. It was elevated to the  level of a hospital in 1988. PHOTO/COURTESY

What you need to know:

  • The hospital consumes a lot of electricity and water, and its budget is small, which makes it hard to clear it to zero balance. 

The management of Masindi Main Hospital is struggling to clear water and electricity bills that have accumulated to more than Shs100 million.

Having failed to raise the funds with the dwindling revenue collections compounded by the Covid-19 pandemic, the leaders have called for government intervention.

The high water and electricity bills accrued in the last financial year, and as a way of reducing further costs, the health facility has cut off power from the staff quarters and tasked the latter to start paying their own bills.

Dr Felix Twinomugisha, the hospital’s medical superintendent, said currently, they have an outstanding debt of Shs88 million for electricity and Shs36 million for water bills.

Dr Twinomugisha said they are considering establishing water tanks and solar panels at the health facility to reduce high bills.

“We are now opting for a long term solution on how we can avoid paying high bills; we shall be using our own water after installing water tanks,” he said.

The Masindi District assistant chief administrative officer, Mr Richard Kiiza, said in the Financial Year 2019/2020, the Ministry of Health helped the hospital to pay its bills that stood at Shs160 million.

“The hospital consumes a lot of electricity and water, and its budget is small, which makes it hard to clear it to zero balance,” He said.

Mr Kiiza, said they have received a complaint from the hospital and they are soon writing to the Ministry of Finance to give them funds to clear the bills and they have advised all health workers staying in staff quarters to start paying their electricity bills.

Mr Kenneth Nyendwoha, the Bujenje MP, said Umeme should supply free electricity to hospitals.

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