Arua. The Regional Referral hospital in Arua is now without an operational X-ray machine for two years.
The hospital management now asks the patients who need the machine to get services from clinics within Arua town or are referred to Mulago National Referral Hospital. This is an additional expense on the patients who have to foot the medical bills, transport, accommodation and feeding bills.
The X-ray machines were supplied by Phillips Companies to most of the Regional Referral hospitals across the country.
The Hospital Director, Dr Bernard Odu, said: “For extreme cases we refer them to Mulago National referral hospital and other patients who are fair we ask them to go to nearby clinics with the machines. In fact many of the patients come to the hospital with the copies of scanned X-ray examination reports. But we are trying to negotiate with Ministry of Health to help us in this situation.”
The hospital Director Dr Bernard Odu
The X-ray machine room has been closed for all the two years rendering the expert without work. The MP for Ayivu County, Bernard Atiku, said: “It is embarrassing to see and hear poor patients being sent to access X-ray services from private clinics yet many rely on this hospital and yearn for better health care system. We need to make follow up of this matter and have the machine repaired.”
Coupled with the breakdown, there are also no films for the X-ray machine. At the Surgical ward, some of the patients are stuck with their broken limbs as they could not afford scan of Shs 16,000 in private clinics. Some have opted to travel 10 kilometers to Kuluva hospital to have scan done on them at subsidized rate.
Some patients in the Surgical ward in Arua. Photos by Felix
Medical X-rays are used to see what is happening inside the body. X-rays pass through objects like body tissue and project a picture onto a film. Trained medical personnel can then read these images to diagnose medical condition or injury.
One of the patients, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisal from the Nurses, said he spent about Shs 50,000 for both scanning and some minor treatment from the private clinic.
“The government should not abandon the referral hospitals because these are machines which are bought using our taxes and if there is no machine for all these years, where does our money go? And here when you talk about it some of the nurses becomes harsh because they also feel frustrated,” he said.