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Private pharmacies operating within Mulago hospital evicted

Mulago hospital

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Private pharmacies that have been operating within Mulago National referral hospital have been kicked out following a directive by health minister Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng.

The minister instructed the National Drug Authority (NDA) to enforce closure of all private facilities operating within public health facilities.

According to Abiaz Rwamwiri, NDA Public Relations Officer, First Pharmacy and Ecopharm have all vacated. He added that other pharmacies in government hospitals across the country will be closed too. So far, the pharmacies within Mbarara, Kawempe and Hoima Regional Referral hospitals are still open.

With concerns of ripping off needy patients and allegations of doctors acting as brokers for private drug sellers in the hospital, President Museveni had ordered for closure of these private facilities in September 2019, but the directive had since not been implemented until he made a new directive about the same last month.

This development comes amidst embezzlement and mismanagement investigations against the interdicted Mulago hospital executive director Dr. Byarugaba Baterana. Baterana is among others accused of poorly executing MOUs with the two private pharmacies causing financial loss to the national referral hospital.

In Mulago hospital, the two pharmacies have been operating since 2018 but illegally, without licenses from NDA according to the board chairman Dr. Merdad Bitekyerezo.

According to a dossier by the State House  Health Monitoring Unit seen by URN, Ecopharm alone had defaulted up to 135 million Shillings in rent by November 2021. First pharmacy had defaulted with 67.5million Shillings.

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URN

One comment

  1. NDA, on behalf of the patients who have visited these pharmacies after every visit to the hospital;

    Kindly carry out an investigation
    1. Why did we visit the respective pharmacy?
    2. What informed our choice?
    3 Why would an ordinary citizen prefer to spend had earned money when an equally good drug is available at the hospital Pharmacy?

    I do not challenge your decision but I wish to add another angle to your pre occupations, that of access, that the right patient should receive the right drug for the right diagnosis, getting the right dose and for the expected duration; all this being achieved in a timely manner with a view to save and sustain life.

    With humility, I believe that each of us is entitled to health care and the decision made should be informed by unbiased and well searched findings.

    We look forward to alternative source of medicines to cater for geriatric, and specialised care in all public facilities.

    For God and this country

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