Dr. Joshua Kiberu the Kawolo Hospital Superintendent explained to Uganda Radio Network that the habit is hard to monitor and completely fight in all hospital departments though he warns the entire staff against losing jobs once caught in the act.
The administration of Kawolo Hospital is concerned over reports that its staff members extort money from patients and delay services to those that fail to heed to the demands for payments.
Dr Joshua Kiberu, the Kawolo Hospital Superintendent explained to URN that the habit is difficult to monitor and completely get rid of in all departments. He, however, warns that anyone arrested in the act faces dismissal and prosecution.
According to Dr Kiberu, the management has set up a general structural arrangement allowing only payment of money in the private wing where receipts are issued.
Management of the hospital has circulated leaflets bearing the administrators’ telephone numbers for patients to call in case any of their staff try to extort money from them. The leaflets also bear messages warning patients from engaging in any form of corruption.
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Nuuru Abdul Mutuba, a laboratory technician says that extortion at Kawolo hospital is beyond committing a crime and needs serious penalties to whoever does it. He notes that the facility receives people from humble backgrounds expecting free services regardless of their condition.
Dr Kiberu notes the facility on average receives 450 patients at the outpatient department on a daily basis ever since the hospital was renovated. This is an increase from the 300 patients recorded before the renovation. The number of expectant mothers has also increased from 360 to 450 on a monthly basis, while surgeries increased from 210 to 130 every month.
Muhamad Kakande, a patient from Nakazadde local council-LCI in Lugazi Municipality reveals that the habit has been common among the medical workers on night shifts.
“If you happen to be here [hospital] during the night, you will realize that some patients are ignored and others attended to. It requires you to pay something to the nurses outside the ward,” Kakande explains.
Dr Kiberu condemns the act of medics charging money to buy drugs for patients saying they should always recommend the drugs that might be missing at the facility.
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The Resident District Commissioner - RDC, Jane Francis Kagaayi notes that her office learnt about the matter and is trying to find ways to handle it with the hospital administration.