The Luwero district council has suspended the operations of the private
wing at Luwero hospital over abuse and extortion of money from patients.
In the 2019/20 financial year, Luwero Health Center IV was upgraded to improve
service delivery. The government also increased Primary Health Care and
Last year, administrators introduced a private wing at Luwero
hospital in a move aimed at improving access to service delivery.
However, on Friday at the district council sitting at Africa Guest House in
Luwero town council, it was resolved to suspend the operations of the private
wing with immediate effect saying it had contributed to extortion of money from
Ronald Ndawula the Luwero LCV Chairperson says that he has received numerous
complaints from residents that those without money can’t access services yet
the facility is primarily a public hospital.
Ndawula said that the purpose of elevating the hospital was to enable poor
patients to access better services at free costs but not for profits.
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Samuel Mulwana the Male district councillor for Workers said that
currently the hospital is still struggling with staff but it was unfortunate
the majority opted to work in the private wing where they get bonuses leaving the
key clients in public wings crying foul.
Mulwana said the opening of the private wing was rushed since the
hospital is still under construction and has no clear demarcation between the
private and public wings.
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Dithan Kikabi the District Speaker also said the money from the private
wing can’t be accounted for which raises suspicion that this is intended to
benefit the health workers who collect it from patients.
About 10 councillors voted to suspend the operations of the
private wing whereas seven councillors were against the move.
Kikabi ruled in favour of the majority saying the private wing be
suspended till its operations are streamlined and policy to govern it approved
by the councillors.
Herbert Ssekabira a member of the Luwero Hospital Management
committee says that the private wing was introduced in good faith but he admits
it had been abused and created confusion at the facility.
Sekabira explained that some patients are suspicious that drugs sold at the private
pharmacy could be dispensed by the government for public use and there was a need
to first sensitize the public about how the private wing operates.
But Joseph Serugo the District Secretary for Health criticized the motion
saying the suspension won’t stop extortion at the hospital. Serugo tried to
block the motion in vain saying the issues can be addressed without suspending