Tororo patients pay Shs50,000 for X-ray at private facilities as public machine sits idle

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Tororo patients pay Shs50,000 for X-ray at private facilities as public machine sits idle
Corruption is cited in the disuse of a modern X-ray machine at Tororo Hospital as private facilities want to cash-in | David Ochieng

TORORO | Constructed in 1940s with a bed capacity of 200 patients, Tororo Hospital has for the past years had a drastic increase in the number of patients it serves.

The hospital receives between 7,000 to 8,000 patients monthly with daily attendance counted at about 300.

But while the facility population has registered growth, the facility has not changed much in terms of services.

Ranging from inadequate medical supplies to staffing, the facility has stayed for years without a functioning x-ray machine and patients have to foot bills to access services in nearby private facilities which has become costly according to the leaders.

Beatrice Akello, one of the patients at the facility, told the Nile Post that they have to spend about Shs60,000 for X-ray service at a nearby private facility.

This, as a modern X-ray machine installed at Tororo Hospital in 2019 by Ministry of Health remains unutilised due to lack of films.

According to the district health officer, Dr Okoth Obbo, the X-ray machine is functional but only lucks films to print out results of patients.

Asking about the cost of films the machine requires to operate, Dr Obbo revealed that the films are sold in cassette and that each cassette costs about Shs50,000.

He further revealed that for the whole quarter, the hospital needs to purchase films of about Shs2 million to serve the population.

The delay to have the state of art machine in use has now caused a mixed reaction.

A section of district leaders say the X-ray machine has been deliberately abandoned by medics to make a kill since many of them have X-ray services in the vicinity of the hospital.

Noah Okumu, the secretary health and education Tororo, now wants the government to come up with strict regulations to block the creation of private health facilities within the locality of public facilities.

To Okumu, the move has led to poor service delivery in government facilities since most medics have turned it a money making venture

The state of the art machine in question was provided to facility in 2019 by ministry of health with support from UNOPS. But to date, Tororo population havn't felt the presence of machine at the facility.

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