Health minister orders sacking of medics involved in drug theft

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Health minister orders sacking of medics involved in drug theft
Minister, Hanifa Kawooya

In a move to curb corruption in the healthcare sector, the State Minister for Health in charge of general duties Hanifa Kawooya Bangirana has ordered the immediate sacking of medical workers caught stealing drugs or extorting money from patients at Masaka General Hospital.

The directive was issued during the swearing-in ceremony of the hospital's new board of directors.

Speaking at the event, Kawooya emphasized the ministry's commitment to ensuring that medicines are available only in government hospitals and health facilities.

"As government we have worked hard to make sure that medicines are accessible to the public, but these criminal activities by some healthcare workers undermine our efforts. So,  if the hospital director got all evidence necessary to to prove that a health worker is involved in such activities, let him expel him or her," she said.

The minister said there have been dire consequences due to extortion from patients by medics.

"The situation has led to residents not receiving the quality treatment they deserve, and in some cases, losing their loved ones. We will not tolerate such actions. I instruct James Elima to dismiss any doctors involved in these acts without fear of intimidation," she declared.

The swearing-in ceremony, presided over by Masaka high Court Judge Aloysius Natwijjuka, saw 12 new board members take their oaths.

The board includes notable figures such as Steven Ssebagala, the incoming board chairperson, James Elima, the secretary, Charles Tumushime, the administrative officer, Irene Nampiima, among others.

Judge Natwijjuka urged the newly sworn-in members to uphold their oaths and avoid any corrupt practices.

"Your integrity is crucial to the success and reputation of Masaka General Hospital. Uphold the highest standards of honesty and professionalism, because this oath you have taken is not a joke."

The Masaka district Chairperson Andrew Batemyetto, echoed the need for stringent measures against corruption.

"We must ensure that our healthcare system is free from corruption and that our people receive the care they need," Batemyetto said.

Masaka RDC Teopisita Ssenkungu called on the Ministry of Health to increase the supply of medicines and the number of specialists in rural health facilities.

She said that enhancing resources and specialist availability in rural areas will help reduce the burden on Masaka Hospital and improve healthcare access for all.

Dr. Steven Ssebagala, the incoming chairperson of the hospital board on behalf of all board members, pledged to focus on delivering quality services to the people of Masaka.

 

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