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.