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Doctors Happy, Speak Out On Baterena’s Arrest, Mulago Troubles

Doctors under the Uganda Medical Association (UMA) have praised the Health Monitoring Unit -HMU for handling the arrest of the Mulago Hospital Director professionally.

The doctors who held a press conference this morning said while they have for long pushed for the disbandment of this state house formed medical supplies watchdog unit over mishandling serious cases of drug theft and misappropriation of health funds, they say the arrest of Dr. Byarugaba Baterana early in the week was not only timely but necessary. The doctor was arrested over alleged embezzlement and fraudulent false accounting for money to the tunes of Shs28 billion. THe arrest party was under the command of a highly qualified fellow doctor of international repute, Dr Warren Namara.

Dr. Odongo Samuel Oledo, the President of the Association says any doctor found guilty of either theft of medicines or misappropriation of funds should be punished for it irrespective of their position proposing that in a scenario where the funds are used to accumulate assets such as houses, the property should be sold to recover the money.

UMA says while Baterana’s issues have been making headlines throughout the week, they are not the only problems at the national referral hospital which has recently been transforming into a super specialized facility.

For instance, Oledo points out that government has sponsored a hundred specialist doctors from Mulago who trained from abroad to become super specialists but years after they returned, they have never been deployed to offer such services even as tax payers’ money was spent.

To date, he says they still serve in the same positions they held before travel and yet some are completely unemployed.

He alleges, to be deployed, they need to first please the power that be at the hospital.

The doctors now recommend that a similar audit done at the national referral should be replicated to lower health facilities and other entities such as the medicines procurement agency, the National Medical Stores to rule out any wastage.

Meanwhile, Baterena has since been interdicted by Health Ministry Permanent Secretary and replaced by his deputy Dr. Rosemary Byanyima who is appointed in acting capacity.

URN

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