People who were shot during riots that followed the arrest of presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi, alias Bobi Wine, have asked government to help them clear medical bills.
The victims, who are admitted to Mulago National Referral Hospital, said they are footing their own medical bills even when the services are meant to be free of charge.
They addressed their plight to the State Minister for Primary Healthcare, Dr Joyce Moriku Kaducu, as she visited the hospital yesterday.
“We buy the medicine. I have spent about Shs400,000 so far because the scan and X-ray alone I have spent about Shs300,000,” Mr Alex Kalanzi, one of the patients, said.
However, Dr Rosemary Byanyima, the deputy executive director of Mulago hospital, said all the treatment they are offering is free of charge and the patients should present evidence that they are being asked to pay for it.
Other patients said they still need financial support to support them at home when discharged.
Mr Leopold Nyakahuma said: “The money we had is finished. This means if you leave here [hospital], you have to buy medicine, and it is expensive.”
In response, the minister said support will be extended to those who ask for it.
“We are going to support them…. I cannot say all the victims will be supported but the ones who asked me are those ones on the ward,” Dr Kaducu said.
Yesterday, at the time of our visit, the number of shooting victims admitted to the hospital had reduced compared to Tuesday. There were six patients in Ward 3B, Lower Mulago, and nine in other wards, bringing the total number to 15.
Dr Kaducu said people should not blame the security agencies for last week’s shootings, saying there were also some civilians who attacked members of the public, especially government vehicles.
“I survived young boys, they wanted to stone me on Entebbe Road. I missed fire three times, I think they were targeting any government car. The ambulance that you saw, they were coming to block us. We had to find a way out,” she said.