Mbale Regional Referral Hospital is currently grappling with the overwhelming number of patients visiting the facility for health attention.
Louis Muhindo, the Hospital’s Principal Administrator, says the hospital is over-stretched by the patients it receives daily compared to the medical personnel and the medical equipments availed at the health facility.
He says currently there are more than 550 patients admitted in the hospital, far beyond the 417 bedding capacity of the hospital. He says many patients have no option but to sleep on the floor, something he says is not medically accepted.
Mbale Regional Referral Hospital is designated to serve more than 4 million people in the 14 districts in Bugisu sub region, but Muhindo says the hospital often serves patients from Teso and Karamoja as well.
He says the situation has been made worst by the few health workers at the hospital of such a grade.
Muhindo says the hospital currently has a total of 397 staff representing 75% of the national average for a hospital of that grade.
He however says almost half of these are support staff that includes porters, security guards, cooks and cleaners among others. He said many of the professional staff are also in their various schools for further education, something he says has greatly affected the functionality and operation of the hospital.
He says the available medical workers are over-stretched because of the high number of patients and extra responsibilities. Muhindo says the work load compromises the quality of services being offered to the public.
Muhindo notes that over time people have continued to accuse the hospital administrators and medical workers of providing inadequate services, yet the problem is outside their jurisdiction. He claims that they have always tried their best to provide better services with the situation at hand but that no one understands them.
Redpepper Online has also learnt that the situation has forced majority of the available staff to spend much of their time attending to private patients in private clinics where they get extra money.
Mbale Regional Referral Hospital has of recent been under the spot for abuse of patients and maladministration.
In January this year, a 40-year-old woman admitted at Mbale regional referral hospital accused medical workers there of repeatedly asking her for a bribe before they could operate on her. Rose Akongo, a resident of Mukuju village in Tororo district, was admitted with complications in her fallopian tubes and uterus, which need to be removed.
She spent more than a week in the hospital without getting any medical attention because she did not have money to pay for their services until the police intervened.
In October last year, police investigated several doctors and some of the hospital authorities over allegation of negligence after two mothers Faridah Nambozo and Susan Nalukenge died in labour at the hospital.
In September 2011, five health officials from the same hospital were arrested after they were accused of causing the death of an expectant mother during delivery. Cecilia Nambozo, a teacher at Busamaga Primary School, died in labour after she was left unattended to by the medical workers for failure to pay 300,000 shillings. She failed to push the baby who was weighing 5.2 kilograms. In the process, she ruptured her uterus