Emmanuel Osuna, LC V chairman Tororo and Adhola Kennedy Otiti, the board Chairman Tororo general Hospital were embarrassed this morning after medical workers at the hospital shunned a meeting they had convened to listen to their problems. The medical workers walked out on the officials and gathered under a mango tree at Tororo railway station, about 100 meters from the hospital. They threatened not to resume work until the two officials leave the hospital premises.
The medicals workers said that they would only listen to officials from the health ministry. One of the workers who spoke to URN on condition of anonymity says that they want Otti’s board fired from management and another competent board appointed to manage the hospital. Dr. Andrew Opete, medical superintendent Tororo general Hospital says that they had scheduled a general staff meeting at 9am. He however says that he saw the staffs signal one another to leave immediately the entourage of the LC V arrived at the board room where the meeting was scheduled to take place. Dr Opete says the boycott is a protest against the new board chairperson Otiti.
Paul Wesonga, the Secretary Uganda Medical workers Union applauded his colleagues for the action saying it’s the first step to expressing their dissatisfaction towards the appointment of Otiti as the hospital board chairperson. Wesonga says the action had nothing to do with punishing innocent members of the public especially the patients but to bring to the attention of the appointing authorities that in future they should appoint reasonable persons to such positions.
On Wednesday, Tororo District officials led by Osuna met all the hospital board members, members of the health and Education committees and discussed how to address the rift between the hospital staff and the Board particularly its chairperson Otiti. It is alleged that during the meeting Osuna intimidated the medical workers against fighting Otti saying that removing him would be as difficult as moving Tororo Rock. He allegedly threatened to transfer all health workers who are opposed to the leadership of Otti to rural health center.
Trouble between Otiti and medical workers started about one month ago, when t medical workers recommended his sacking accusing him of fueling conflicts. The medical workers expressed their concern in a meeting chaired by Elizabeth Anyango, the hospital personnel officer. They also gave Otiti an ultimatum of three days to defend an anonymous letter he allegedly wrote to the district leadership accusing the Amos Oboke, the hospital administrator of abuse of office in vain.
The medical workers also accused Otti of being a habitual drunkard and chain smoker, who has become a liability to the hospital. Otiti has denied all the accusations leveled against him and challenges the medical workers to bring documentary evidence to prove their claims. Otiti also admits being a smoker but says that he quit drinking in 2008. He accuses the medical workers of ganging up against him because of his determination to restore order in the hospital that has been operating without any strategic plan.