Dr. Specioza Wandera Kazibwe tells doctors to take the medical profession as a vocation.
By Samuel Sanya
KAMPALA - Medical doctors have been told to value the lives of their patients over financial gain as this will greatly improve the image of the profession after recent scandals.
Dr. Specioza Wandera Kazibwe, Uganda’s former Vice President, told doctors to take the medical profession as a vocation and not a get-rich-quick scheme as government looks for ways to improve conditions in the health sector.
Cases of bribery in Uganda’s medical spectrum have come to light several times before.
Last year, a doctor at Jinja regional referral hospital faced public rage after an expectant mother died by his hands after an operation.
Dr. Charles Barungi was charged with receiving a bribe, neglect and abuse of office.
There have been reports of patients at Kabale hospital often complaining that some staffers ask for bribes before attending to them.
Moses Aharizira, a doctor at the hospital was arrested for soliciting a sh200,000 bribe to conduct a postmortem, local media reported.
It is the risk to patients, together with the reputation of the profession that Dr. Spe, as she is fondly called, is concerned about.
She brought up the issue of bribes during the first alumni dinner of the 89-year-old Makerere University College of health sciences hitherto referred to as the Makerere University Medical School at the Africana hotel in Kampala at the close of the week.
The institution is the oldest medical training facility in East Africa with an alumnus of over 5,000 doctors, nurses, dentists, surgeons, pharmacists and community health specialists.
Dr. Isaac Ezati, the health ministry’s director of planning and development represented the health minister Ruhakana Rugunda.
He said that government intends to use the research and experience of the institution to develop policies that will transform the health sector.
“There is no way we can transform the health sector without your contribution. We need your research and evidence,” he said.
Dr. Ezati also revealed that health service commission is running a five-year strategic plan that will see the health sector improve human resource and service delivery by the financial year 2014/15.
At the same event, Economics professor who also is Makerere University’s Vice Chancellor, Ddumba Sentamu, noted that the university needs funding to refurbish its halls of residence, lecture blocks, and acess roads.
“The lack of a perimeter wall creates a security risk for lives and property of the thousands of students and staff within the University premises,” he said.
Ex-VP Kazibwe tells doctors to keep off bribes