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Masindi Hospital Suspends Free Meals to Patients :: Uganda Radionetwork

Masindi Hospital Suspends Free Meals to Patients

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Masindi Hospital has been hit hard by a financial crisis, forcing the hospital administrators to suspend provision of meals to patients and staff.

Masindi Hospital, the biggest in the Midwestern Ugandan district, has been providing basic meals of porridge, posho and beans to patients and their caretakers. The meals helped to reduce some of the burden of paying for expensive medical services.

This month, the free meals suddenly stopped. No explanation was given by doctors or the hospital administrators for the action.

The Masindi Hospital budget was cut from 285 million shillings to 250 million shillings this financial year.

Dr. John Turyagaruka, the Masindi District Health Officer, said the hospital is cash strapped and can no longer afford to give free meals. He said the little money left has been set aside for the purchase of drugs.

Dr. Turyagaruka added that the meals provided were of a poor quality. He said better, more nutritious meals may be introduced at a later stage

Hundreds of patients at Masindi Hospital depended on the free meals given to them.

One man, who refused to be named, said his grandson has to miss school to prepare food and bring it to the hospital every day. The man, who is looking after his cancer-stricken sister at the hospital, appealed that the meals be reintroduced to save families from yet another challenge of caring for the patients .

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The medical and support staff at the hospital are also unhappy with the suspension of free meals. They said trying to find food outside the hospital is affecting their work.

Staff who worked in the Masindi Hospital also complained that they have now been made redundant.

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