Soroti Regional Referral Hospital Turns Away Patients at Night

3963 Views Soroti, Uganda

In short
Patients turning up for admission at night at Soroti regional referral hospital have been turned away for two weeks now. The clinical officers supposed to be on duty have not been reporting for duty. No one seems to know why.

The Soroti regional referral hospital Out Patients Department has not worked at night for a week now.
This follows the absence of the medical personnel who are supposed to be on standby duty at night.
The absence means that patients who are rushed to the hospital at night cannot be admitted for treatment.
The Out Patients Department (OPD) is supposed to be operational 24 hours a day.
Uganda Radio Network (URN) visited the hospital four nights in a row only to find the OPD closed and the lights switched off.
Hapless patients and their caregivers who had turned up at the hospital could be seen loitering around the facility pleading to be admitted.
The hospital roster indicates that clinical officer Alfred Omutoj was supposed to be on night duty last week. Sam Engulu is supposed to be on night duty this week.
None of them could be sighted on the premises during their respective shifts.
Patients who preferred to not reveal their identities described their frustration at not receiving any help. Some of the patients from Asuret, Arapai and Soroti municipality say they called the numbers of the personnel supposed to be on duty for hours but still received no help.
Efforts to contact the hospital director Dr. Emmanuel Batiidwe were futile as his known phone numbers were off and he was said to be in Kampala.
Thomson Obong, the Principal hospital administrator Soroti regional referral hospital, confessed to ignorance of the dereliction of duty by the staff. He promised to do follow ups and ascertain why they were absconding from duty.


About the author

Salume Among
Salume Among is the Mbale URN bureau chief. Among has been a URN staff member since 2012.

Among started her career in 2000 as a freelance writer for Etop newspaper before starting to write for its mother paper, The New Vision. She also wrote for the Vision Group's XFM radio station from 2008 until she left to join URN.

Among has a keen interest in local politics having been a youth representative in the Soroti variously between 1996 and 2010. Among also regularly reports on health, education, the environment and sports.