Hoima Regional Referral Hospital has come under fire for allegedly removing a Covid-19 patient from oxygen and left to die after failure to pay Shs 100,000.
The victim has been identified as Florence Night, a resident of Kikwatamigo village.
According to the now deceased’s husband, Abitegeka Kyomuhendo Edward, his wife would have lived for more days if he had the money to pay for oxygen at hospital.
Abitegeka claims that her wife got breathing difficulties and rushed her to Hoima Regional Referral Hospital where she was put on oxygen.
“They asked me to pay Shs 150,000 for oxygen on day one and then on day two, I was asked to pay Shs 100,000,” he said tearfully.
Abitegeka said that while he was able to pay Shs 400,000 for the four days, he ran out of money on the fifth day and could not pay for the oxygen.
According to him, a one Milton removed the cylinder from his wife, who later passed on after a few minutes.
“On the sixth day, a one Milton still wanted me to pay for oxygen and because I had no money, he said let him take the oxygen to someone who had money,” Abitegeka, with tears streaming from his eyes, narrated.
“I had nothing to do at that moment, the half filled oxygen I got could not hold my wife for long and after like 30 minutes, she died.”
When the hospital administration was contacted, they confirmed that they had an employee called Milton who is in charge of supplying oxygen at the Covid-19 treatment unit.
“His role is just distributing oxygen, taking it to where it is needed and removing the empty cylinders,” John Karungi, an administrator at the hospital said.
Karungi said an investigation into the matter is on.
A critical Covid-19 patient needs between 3-5 oxygen cylinders a day according to health practitioners and with the shortage of oxygen at Hoima Regional Referral hospital, patients are now being asked to buy oxygen from private clinics, making it a lucrative business.
The Hoima Covid-19 task force has now suspended the sale of oxygen to private hospitals until further notice.
Hoima is one of the districts that have been hit hard by the second wave of the pandemic, with more than 965 cases as of last week.
Additional reporting by Jonah Kirabo