Mulago Hospital.

The Parliamentary Committee on Health has tasked the management of Mulago National Referral Hospital to explain allegations of continued corruption, extortion and fraudulent dealings at the facility.

The management of the hospital led by the Ag. Director, Rosemary Byanyima, on Wednesday appeared before the committee chaired by Dr. Charles Ayume over renovation works, the status of equipment and budget of the facility.

Dr. Ayume asked the management to explain the continued exploitation of Ugandans seeking treatment at the facility citing several cases of extortion and bribery.

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“There are a lot of under the table payments, bribes, fraud and extortions at Mulago. Two months ago, one of our colleagues had a patient there and money was charged for blood from the pediatrics unit. That blood was taken to a patient in Cancer Institute,” he said.

He added that the Cancer Institute was absolved of any wrongdoing, which was placed on the Acute Care Unit at the hospital. He said that blood should not be sold and asked the hospital director to stop the vice.

Ayume said that private facilities are illegally carrying out tests and accessing services from Mulago Hospital on behalf of their patients, with the money going to the private doctors.

“There is heavy extortion and corruption. People in the private sector bring their samples to Mulago, samples are ran and then the results are sent to private facilities and money is paid there, what are we doing about this?” Ayume asked.

He said that this money is benefitting people outside the hospital and that there is need to match every person with the services they access.

Dr. Byanyima explained that they are coming up with a system to monitor the access to services in the hospital, including looking at what is done and tests done.

She said that hospital management is tackling the other vices, some of which she blamed on impersonators.

“We appreciate that feedback; it is a real pain but we are really working hard and we condemn this. We have activated CCTV cameras, but we are waiting for the completion of the works of renovation,” she said.

The committee also cast doubt on the efficiency of ROKO to complete the renovation works at Mulago since they are engaged in constructing several other buildings in the country. The MPs said that they did not find the contractors on the site when they visited the hospital.

“I have failed to understand how big this ROKO is because it is everywhere and not doing well,” Dr. Elisa Rutahigwa said.

Mulago administrators however, responded that they are not in charge of procurement, which they said, is done by the Ministry of Health.

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