Jinja Hospital Medical Personnel Accused of Extortion

1345 Views Jinja, Uganda

In short
Jinja regional referral hospital medical staff are accused of extorting money from patients and their caretakers.

Jinja regional referral hospital medical staff are being accused of extorting money from patients and their caretakers.
Most of the patients interviewed by Uganda Radio Network disclosed that medical personnel charge them between 100,000 to 1,000,000 shillings for medical care. They also direct the patients and their caretakers to particular drug shops to buy medicines prescribed which some patients and caretakers say is expensive, compared to other drug shops.
Regina Wakula, a patient at Ward 7 who had complications with her fallopian tubes says one needs 350,000 shillings for an operation in addition to buying medicine from particular drug shops in Jinja. But she says this is very expensive for her and her husband.
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In August, 2012 medical personnel at Jinja Hospital went on a sit-down strike protesting the arrest and detention of one of their colleagues at Nalufenya police station in Jinja.

Dr. Charles Barungi was arrested by police on allegations that he got a bribe of 700,000 shillings from Sulah Nsubuga, the father of Sharita Nakato, who was also due to carry out an operation, but she later passed on.
Fred Ngobi Gume, Jinja district LCV says due the haggling between patients, caretakers for money that is not readily available, patient's health conditions worsen and most times they die after paying the bribes which is not acceptable. He plans to write a letter to the Ministry of Health demanding to know why such cases are happening at a government referral hospital unabated.
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Musa Balilunho, a care taker with a patient in ward 4 plans to mobilize people to protest against the act of asking for bribes.

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Dr. Sophie Namasolo the Medical Director says it is not allowed for medical personnel to take bribes from patients and their caretakers and once it happens this act must be reported to the authorities.
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Jinja regional referral hospital admits up to 600 patients from greater Busoga region and receives at least 500 out patients per day for treatment.