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Gulu Regional Referral Hospital Demanding UGX 509m COVID-19 Arrears

Dr Paska Apiyo, the in-charge of the CTU at the facility says she is among the staff who have not paid the risk allowance yet they constantly work under stress and for long hours.
29 Jul 2021 20:26
Committe of Parliament on COVID-19 inspecting the CTU at Gulu Regional Referral Hospitla - Photo by Simon Wokorach

Audio 2

Gulu Regional Referral Hospital is demanding from the Government 509.9 million shillings in arrears accrued from the treatment of Covid-19 treatment and management. 

Part of the arrears was meant for risk allowances of clinicians, nurses, surveillance team, hygienists, laboratory technicians, psycho-social counsellors and surveillance team attached to COVID-19 Treatment Unit – CTU.

In June 2020, at the height of COVID-19 infection during the first lockdown, 31 health workers who included some personnel from the World Health Organization and Ministry of Health were deployed at the facility to reinforce the fight against the pandemic.

Dr Paska Apiyo, in-charge of the CTU at the facility, says she is among the staff who have not been paid the risk allowance yet constantly work under stress and for long hours.

//Cue in..."When it comes….”

Cue out… paid their allowances.”//

Dr Apiyo disclosed that some of the staff who had complained about the delay in the payment of their allowance were redeployed to the different departments in the hospital before they could be paid.

//Cue in..."I loaded airtime….”

Cue out… they get demoralized.”//

Dr James Elima, the Hospital Director says that the arrears amounting up to 280 million of the 509.9 million is meant to cater for staff allowance while the balance would settle bills incurred in feeding both patients and staff at the CTU since 1st May 2020. 

According to Elima, the hospital received up 486 million shillings from the Ministry of Health in three different releases in 2020, but the funds were spent on the purchase of drugs, fuel, vehicle repairs, allowances, meals and refreshments, airtime and bundles, support and supervision.

Available statistics available indicate that Gulu Regional Referral Hospital has lost up to 25 patients from the pandemic from 3,209 cumulative confirmed cases. However, of those, 2,917 have been able to recover.