Shock engulfed Hoima City Leaders on Wednesday after the discovery that patients at Hoima Referral Hospital were sharing wards with dead bodies at the medical facility.
This shocking incident was discovered during the recent hospital visit by the leaders led by Asinansi Nyakato, the woman Member of Parliament for Hoima City after a public outcry over poor services at the government hospital.
Some of the complaints raised by the public included negligence and extortion of patients by the health workers at the referral hospital, among others.
The Member of Parliament and her team were shocked after landing on three dead bodies in the male and emergency wards of the hospital due to the alleged negligence of the health workers.
She was also shocked to find the wounds of operating mothers rotting away at the hospital due to the inaction of the health workers.
The patients in the different wards claimed that they were told to pay between 100,000 and 150,000 shillings by health workers at the hospital for treatment but ended up being given only beds.
They added that patients and pregnant women wanting operations are told to first pay between 200, 000 and 500,000 shillings before being operated on, and those who fail to do so are not attended to.
They also complained of the dirty and bushy state and the lack of oxygen and blood in the hospital, where the intern students from Hoima Nursing School of Nursing are the ones attending to the patients.
Ms Nyakato expressed fear that soon dogs will start grabbing babies from the hospital since they have started accessing the maternity wards.
Ms Evelyn Achayo, the head of nurses at the hospital, revealed that the facility is overwhelmed by the number of patients it receives.
Achayo called for action to ensure the lower health units in the region, including the district hospitals, perform their work to prevent unnecessary referrals to the referral hospital.
She revealed that some district hospitals close as early as 4:00 p.m., prompting patients who visit them later to be taken to the regional referral hospital, causing flooding there.
Hoima regional referral hospital is meant to serve the eight districts and one city in the Bunyoro subregion but also receives patients from neighboring districts like Kiboga and Kyankwanzi, plus Congo.
Dr Ibrahim Bwaga, the hospital’s acting director, blamed the problem in the hospital on what he termed the high influx of patients, admitting as many as 700 patients in a single day.
Dr Bwaga has therefore called for increased funding for the hospital by the government to enable it to effectively manage the number of patients it receives.
The health expert explained that the hospital budget does not match the huge number of patients it receives, leading to frequent drug stockouts.
He denied the allegations that the health workers were extorting money from patients at the hospital. He explained that sometimes the hospital lacks drugs and other medical supplies, which forces the health workers to advise the patients to buy them outside the hospital.
Mr Badru Mugabi, the Hoima Resident City Commissioner, promised to write to the government through the Ministry of Health, requesting increased funding for the regional referral hospital to address its challenges.
Mugabi also promised to engage with the referral hospital over the matter and the leaders of the districts in the region to make sure that the health workers at the district hospitals in the region do their work as required in order to decongest the referral hospital.
The RCC revealed that the government plans to expand the regional hospital in the coming two years.
Hon Nyakato was accompanied by councillors from Hoima City, who called for teamwork among the leaders in the area in order to improve services at the facility.