By Faustine Odeke
The state minister for primary healthcare, Sarah Achieng Opendi, has directed the Allied Health Professional Council to close all unlicensed private laboratories.
Opendi said patients referred to such laboratories keep having their ailments wrongly diagnosed.
“When we visited Mukuju Health Centre IV, I was shocked to learn that patients are being referred to private laboratories in town. This should stop immediately,’’ Opendi said during a meeting at Tororo General Hospital with disgruntled medical officers.
The officers have given the Government 14 days to pay their three-month salary arrears or else they lay down their tools.
The message was contained in their memorandum presented to the minister and the parliamentary forum on women affairs, by their representative, Stella Agimbe.
She said since December 2013, they have not received any communication concerning the salary delays, something she claims has caused them a lot of stress.
The medical staff said failure to get their salaries has subjected them to suffering, including failure to pay school fees for their children and to provide food for their families. The parliamentary committee headed by Dr. Michael Lulume Bayiga, the Buikwe South MP, toured the facility.
During the tour, they learnt that the hospital had inadequate staffing, a broken X-ray machine and inadequate and stinking toilets, among other problems. Kennedy Otiti Adhola, the hospital’s board chairperson, who doubles as the area RDC, told the committee that the medical staff need to be appreciated for giving the Government a long grace period of 14 days.
Otiti lamented that people have encroached on the hospital’s land with impunity to the extent that they have constructed buildings and are living peacefully without anybody challenging their actions. Adhola revealed that during the next financial year, they intend to procure and install a water harvester and solar power systems to reduce utility bills.