Arua-The women leaders in Arua district under their umbrella organization Arua District Women Caucus have petitioned the Minister of Health to immediately relieve three top managers of Arua regional Referral Hospital of their duties.
In a petition presented to Minister Jane Ruth Aceng today at the district council room, the members of the caucus accused the Hospital Director Dr. Bernard Odu, the Hospital Board chair Ezati Ezaruku Gasper and the Hospital Administrator Peter Okello of gross mismanagement of the health facility, which they said has resulted in to untold loss of lives.
“We women caucus of Arua district council express their deep concern about the high death toll at the hospital between the months of September 2016 and January 2017 emanating from poor administration….,” The letter read in part.
The Women group also pointed out complete power blackout, which limits work of Doctors, non-functionality of the diagnostic unit, extortion of money from patients for referral (1.500.000 per patient)….often collected by one Driver identified as Griffin Alia, costly operation at the Orthopedics department and theft of drugs and equipment at the hospital.
While presenting the petition, Aletiru Stella the chairperson social services committee and also secretary of the women caucus said the rot and mal-administration at the hospital have reached unbearable levels and urged the Minister to act or else the matter is left for public judgment.
There is too much outcry from our people about the drastic decline in the health service delivery at the hospital and this is now a matter of urgency that has to be addressed immediately,” said Stella.
Meanwhile Lekuru Joyce, the vice chair of the group and vice district NRM chairperson said what is happening in the hospital is a mockery of the “Kisanja Hakunah Mcezo” of the NRM government.
The Women group in their petition also recommended that the three top officials be relieved of their duties with immediate effect, officers and drivers who extort money and steal equipment’s be fished out, an investigation be conducted in to hospital administration management saga and strongly warned that failure to adhere to the recommendations would call for public judgment.
However Dr. Jane Ruth Acheng, the Minister for health in response said the authority of Arua regional referral hospital lies in the Ministry of Health but that does not mean the district has no stake in it.
She also decried the communication gap and lack of understanding of government systems and gaps by the different stakeholders adding that there is need to focus on positives and not the negatives in systems.
A second meeting involving the politicians, women caucus, hospital board members and the minister of health together with the ministry officials was convened at the hospital boardroom but the media was barred from attending its proceedings.