Patients claim that they are charged between 10,000 and 50,000 shillings by the medical workers before getting attention. The most affected are those admitted in the casualty, maternity wards and those requiring simple operations at Kamuli hospital.
The most affected patients are those admitted in the casualty, maternity wards and those requiring simple operations at Kamuli hospital.
Jimmy Kitimbo, a resident of Balawoli says his wife Sarah Kitimbo 28, who gave birth at Kamuli hospital last month was asked to pay 30,000 shillings before she was discharged. He says that the money was not receipted but he was told it’s a token of appreciation for the midwife who had helped the wife to deliver.
Kitimbo adds that patients who part with money receive better services from the medical workers. He says that most of the patients are reluctant to complain for fear of being maligned by the medical workers.
Mary Kairugavu, a resident of Butansi village in Butansi Sub County says the extortion at Kamuli hospital has reached alarming levels. She says that many residents have lost hope in the facility and have resorted to private clinics.
Salaamu Musumba, the Kamuli district chairperson is concerned that medical workers who are dully paid to save lives can act in total disregard of the code of ethics of the medical profession by extorting money from patients. She demands that the hospital management takes stringent action against those involved in the vice.
Dr. Robert Isabirye, the Medical Director Kamuli hospital says the hospital management will institute an independent probe to ensure that the implicated medical workers are dealt with accordingly.
Cases of bribery are common in the public health system. In September 2012, Medical workers at Kisoro Hospital were on spot over allegations of soliciting bribes from patients.
Residents claimed that they were charged between 15,000 and 20,000 shillings by the medical workers before attending to them.
According to the Ministry of health, Western and Eastern Uganda have the highest number of corruption cases in the health sector