Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The State Health minister has instructed regional referral hospital authorities to install cameras at wards to address the challenge of extortions in hospitals.
Hon. Sarah Achieng Opendi, the state minister for Health made the pronouncement in an interview on Thursday. She says that a big number of regional referral hospitals are stuck with the challenge of health workers extorting money from patients which she says affects health service delivery.
She says that the corruption cases reported at public hospitals scare away patients especially expectant mothers who end up in the hands of unqualified practitioners and traditional birth attendants.
Opendi says installing CCTV cameras at critical wards such as maternity wards where mothers are fleeced of money before getting services by either health workers or unscrupulous people will help get ride of such people.
The State minister says that mothers need to be encouraged to deliver in heath units but when this problem of extortion is not handled it will continue frustrating the call to mothers to always seek maternity services from hospitals.
She also instructed hospital authorities to ensure that all staff on duty wear uniforms with name tags to fight the problem of masqueraders that usually roam around in hospitals.
Masaka hospital director, Dr Nathan Onyachi says that the minister’s directive was timely since the hospital management is also devising means of fighting corruption tendencies at the hospital and they have already put up telephone contacts of all hospital administrators and notices stopping people from paying for services at general wards.
He says that are also considering installing camera at the hospital main gate to address the thefts and smuggling out of hospital properties.
Swaibu Sulambaya, a patients’ activist welcomed the move saying that cameras if installed at Wards will improve health care services since issues of health workers that harass mothers will be tackled.