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Mubende Hospital officials squeezed over CT scan charges

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Simon Kabayo
Simon Kabayohttps://eagle.co.ug
Reporter whose work is detailed

The Committee on Government Assurances and Implementation has questioned Mubende Regional Referral Hospital officials for charging patients Shs150, 000 for use of a CT Scan machine.

The members of the committee led by Luwero District Woman Representative, Brenda Nabukenya is following up on government assurances and promises in the health sector. Specifically, the committee is looking into the Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers (UGIFT) Loan Programme of Shs552.2 billion approved by Parliament to support the upgrading of the health centre IIs to IIIs in sub counties that did not have them.

During their visit to Mubende District on Thursday, March 4, 2024, the team established that five sub counties of Kayebe, Kitenga, Kiruuma, Nabingoola, and East and West Division of Mubende Municipality did not have health centre IIIs.

The MPs also visited Mubende Regional Referral Hospital where they discovered that the facility was charging for the use of a CT scan machine that was provided by the Government.

Acrobert Kiiza (Indep., Bughendera County) tasked the hospital officials to explain who gave the guidelines that Shs150,000 for use of CT Scan be charged on patients and yet is a government facility.

He also sought to understand where the money that is collected or the excess is spent or sent to. He also asked the director to explain what they do with Ugandans who cannot afford the Shs150,000.

“During the delivery of the CT scan, did it come with guidelines? I would like the director to tell the committee whether the charge of Shs150,000 as cost sharing came with the guidelines, and was this the decision of the hospital board,” he asked.

Isingiro District Woman MP Clare Mugumya said she was happy that the CT scan was provided by the facility but was shocked about the price which she said was too high.

“The user fee is really so high; Shs150, 000 is not affordable to most of the people in Mubende. I was wondering if there is anything you can do to reduce the cost,” Mugumya said.

Dr Paul Batibwe, the Director of the hospital said that the cost sharing is meant to ensure that the machine does not get spoilt and keeps running.

He also told the committee that for those who cannot afford, the hospital gives a waiver.

The committee was also shocked to learn that the maternity section at Mubende Hospital still has mothers giving birth on the floor with at least 10 to 15 mothers sleeping on the floor.

The hospital has a bed capacity of only 49 clients of the required 80.

According to Sister Madelena Asedri, a midwife, the demand for beds is high with mothers flocking in from neighbouring districts to get services.

She added that the cases of mothers sleeping on the floor for lack of beds are a big challenge.

Dr Godfrey Malemeko, a gynecologist at the facility said that the lack of a health centre IV and a district hospital makes it difficult to handle cases who come in without referrals as this leads to overcrowding and limited sundries to support the work of medics.

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