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Police Given Ultimatum to Unearth Extortion Claims at Princess Diana HC1V :: Uganda Radionetwork
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Police Given Ultimatum to Unearth Extortion Claims at Princess Diana HC1V

Princess Diana HC1V charges inpatients 3,000 Shillings for a file and another 20,000 Shillings for detergents like Jik, powder soap, and toilet paper. In most cases, patient attendants are sent out to buy drugs, including gloves, needed for the treatment of their patients.
Signpost of Princess Diana HC1V.

Audio 1

The Soroti Resident City Commissioner, Peter Pex Paak, has given the police one week to investigate and bring to book those involved in the alleged extortion of patients at Princess Diana HC1V. Paak, who has been holding crisis meetings with different stakeholders at the facility, woke up to media reports of a patient attendant who spent almost two weeks of hard labor to pay medical bills at the government health unit. 

Margaret Iloku, 63, was found weeding groundnuts in one of the nurse’s gardens to be able to pay her daughter-in-law’s medical bills. Iloku had gone to the facility with her daughter-in-law, Grace Acen, without any money, expecting to receive free services from the government health facility, but the demands of the medical staff forced her to work in the garden. 

Princess Diana HC1V charges inpatients 3,000 Shillings for a file and another 20,000 Shillings for detergents like Jik, powder soap, and toilet paper. In most cases, patient attendants are sent out to buy drugs, including gloves, needed for the treatment of their patients. For mothers who undergo cesarean section in the facility, most of the drugs for relieving pain and facilitating recovery of the patient are bought from the pharmacies and clinics surrounding the facility. 

It’s also reported that the medics charge every mother up to 300,000 Shillings for a cesarean section. According to Paak, preliminary findings indicate that the facility has been running without medical supplies for more than a month. He notes that the report from the facility management shows that National Medical Stores (NMS) last delivered medical supplies on March 17, 2023. 

Paak also confirmed that the management at the facility has been charging patients 3,000 Shillings for a file that costs 700 Shillings in the open market. He adds that other allegations will be investigated since there is no proof from the media reports to pin the staff. Paak told our reporter that he has directed the officer in charge of criminal investigations in Soroti East Division to open a general inquiry file to bring the matter to book. 

//Cue in “Every expectant mother…

Cue out…stopped it immediately.”//     

The issue at Princess Diana HC1V has attracted the attention of the Speaker of Parliament, Anita Among, who ordered the line minister to inquire and report back to the house on Thursday. The Ministry of Health Spokesman, Emmanuel Ainebyoona, confirmed to the reporter in a text that ministry officials were on the ground to establish facts on the viral story. 

Meanwhile, Iloku has finally returned home to join her family after her hard labor at the facility. The reporter visited the family to deliver some assistance offered by a good Samaritan who was touched by the condition of the mother and her family. Iloku, who was found looking for greens for the family's supper, told the reporter that she was stuck with the baby and the mother since the boy was not immunized at the facility. 

“I have been considering going for lejaleja (garden work for money) to be able to take the baby for immunization at Dakabela HC3, but I am still feeling weak from the hospital's work. Here, we survive on lejaleja, including my son and his wife,” she said. URN also learned that the 130,000 Shillings spent on the medics for the cesarean section was borrowed from the LC1 Chairperson in the area, Simon Peter Otelu. Otelu, who directed the reporter to Iloku’s home, said that he offered help to the family to save the situation.