Mengo Hospital has been put on the spot regarding the death of Daily Monitor sports photojournalist John Bugembe Ssenkubuge.
Ssenkubuge, who has been a sports photographer for the news daily was pronounced dead last Friday after he succumbed at Mengo Hospital.
According to medical records, Ssenkubuge succumbed to high blood pressure will led to a raptured nerve and spilled blood into his brain.
The deceased had earlier fainted at a motor garage in Mulago and dashed to a nearby clinic for handling before being referred to Mengo Hospital as his condition was not changing for the better.
However, the family narrates that on reaching Mengo Hospital, they were told to pay shs900,000 ahead to enable different tests and diagnosis, which they did.
The diagnosis pointed to particular bleeding in the brain requiring emergency surgery to save the life of the 52-year-old.
Alas, the hospital developed complications when they demanded that the family first foot the surgery bill (Shs9m) halfway, or else the hospital would not treat the patient.
According to fellow journalist Ephraim Kasozi who was by the bedside of Ssenkubuge, they were then asked to at least pay Shs2m to activate the chance of seeing Ssenkubuge wheeled into the theatre.
While the family ran up and down, contacted well-wishers to help raise the money, Ssenkubuge lay in hospital, his situation precarious while family and friends searched high and low for money to foot the bills for his urgent medical condition.
It was not until 8 hours had passed (at about 4 pm), that the now unresponsive Ssekubuge was taken in for surgery.
The surgery though pronounced successful after about 4 hours; would later prove a little too late as Ssenkubuge failed to wake up from it.
At this time, most of the hospital staff had vanished, including one Dr. Obiga who had been in charge of the surgery.
The Hospital would later on Friday afternoon disconnect Ssenkubuge from the life support machines and the last office was performed on him- Ssenkubuge was dead.
Nonetheless, the hospital management was willing to ensure that Ssenkubuge’s life on earth and its end stays a constant reminder that money was paramount, they indeed held onto the body of the deceased until all balances were recouped.
“Members, information coming from Mengo is that the hospital still wants us to raise shs4.6m- in order to release JB’s body back to the family so funeral arrangements can commence,” a communique was passed to Ssenkubuge’s workmates hours after his death
Hospital Speaks out
Mengo Hospital has however dismissed reports, adding that they take the life of their patients as a priority above anything else.
Also, the hospital publicist Denis Bwanika quoted by the Daily Monitor yesterday indicated that “we consider patients health and safety first.”