By Hakim Kanyere
Seven members of staff of Jinja regional hospital have been arrested on orders of officials attached to the State House Health Monitoring Unit following a week long investigation at the government facility.
The Director of the Unit Dr Jackson Ojera says the arrests bring to 13 the number of hospital staff so far arrested in connection to extortion, theft, malicious damage, double pay among others at the facility.
Dr Ojera says the investigation has uncovered systematic corrupt tendencies at the hospital. He made these remarks as he presented a preliminary report of the unit’s investigations at the hospital at a public baraza. The baraza was held at Jinja town headquarters.
The Jinja Resident District Commissioners (RDC) Eric Sakwa added his voice to Dr Ojera’s condemning the rot that is consuming the hospital and has swept in even medical staff who are supposed to save the lives of patients.
Dr Ojera says they have discovered though there are two laboratories in Jinja; at the regional hospital and at Nalufenya Children’s Hospital, both hardly have any working equipment left.
The unit says they discovered that the laboratory technicians conspire to have the equipment in the government labs vandalised. They can then redirect patients who want to have tests done to private clinics just outside the government facilities.
Residents backed up the accusations made the State House team. Some of the residents claim that pregnant women have been talked into paying for expensive c-sections so the staff can earn more money though the procedure was not necessary.
Many of the detained staff work in the hospital laboratory.
The unit is continuing with their investigations at the hospital.