The Uganda Medical Association(UMA) has condemned the arrest of the Mulago National Referral Hospital executive director Dr. Byarugaba Baterana by the State House Health Monitoring Unit.
“We are deeply saddened by the arrest of our very own director of Mulago National Referral Hospital on unproven grounds of misappropriation of funds without a fair hearing,”said Dr. Samuel Oledo Odongo,UMA President in a statement.
Oledo said that irrespective of what Byaruhanga had done, appropriate measures should be taken to ensure a fair hearing.
He noted that as a medical association, an attack on one of them is an attack on all of all doctors in the country and “we shall follow up this case to the latter.”
Baterana was arrested on Tuesday as the Health Monitoring Unit investigates what authorities said was mismanagement of the national referral hospital.
The Health Monitoring Unit director, Dr. Warren Namara, said the national referral hospital has been under their radar for the last couple of months following various concerns about its management and the quality of services rendered to Ugandans.
At the beginning of last month, four people were arrested over an Shs 20.5 billion fraud at Mulago Hospital.
This followed an audit report from the State House Health Monitoring Unit citing that the hospital was involved in the irregular recruitment of two firms that forged documents to enable them to win a tender to provide services at the hospital.
Although this may not be the reason for Dr Baterana’s arrest, the State House Unit is on record to have conducted an audit into the hospital following orders from President Museveni.
According to the audit, there has been improper accounting of funds at the hospital, forgery of accounting details by service providers of the hospital and these have caused a heavy loss to the government financially.
The report also cited embezzlement and gross misuse of office by certain big wigs at the hospital.