Watchmen and porters pose as doctors in Uganda
03 October 2014, 18:09
Kampala - Reports from various hospitals in Uganda reveal that unqualified persons mostly cleaners, porters and watchmen pose as medical workers and treat patients after extorting money from them.
In some upcountry hospitals, the unqualified quack medical workers even perform surgical operations.
" It is common for cleaners and watchmen to prescribe drugs for patients in some government hospitals because of the big number of patients and shortage of staff who at times dodge work," said anti corruption organization official Stephen Okot.
He said there is need for government to get serious against medical workers who dodge work
" I lost a relative recently after a cleaner in the hospital performed an operation him," laments 50 year old businessman Abel Nsada. Nsada claims said that they unknowingly paid the porter some money after he posed as a doctor ready to perform the operation. The patient had hernia and died a few hours after the operation.
Read also: Uganda president warns of economic impact of anti-gay bill
Ironically, it is not only upcountry hospitals which have such cases. Even the main referral hospital in Kampala has had such cases. Several quack medical workers have been arrested while extorting money from unsuspecting patients.
" Some of the quack medical workers have uniforms similar to those worn by doctors and nurses in Mulago hospital. But since the number of staff in Mulago is big, with over 1000 workers it is difficult to identify the genuine ones from the fake ones," said doctor Robert Okello a consultant at the hospital.
He said that even when the administration introduced name tags, the quack ones also made theirs similar to the official ones
Such incidents have led officials from the Allied health professional council (AHPC) to start an inquiry into the reports of unqualified staff treating patients in government hospitals. AHPC is mandated to regulate, supervise and enforce standards of training and practice of health workers to effectively contribute to the healthy productive life of Ugandans.
"The inquiry has started in Lyantonde hospital,about 200 kms west of Kampala due to many comaplaints against quak medical staff," said Micheal Mubiru, the AHPC coordinator .
A resident of Lyantonde, Harrient Naka said that she is aware of a security guard who usually charges USh 20,000 to administer drips on each patient. She added that patients with dental problems are referred to a mortuary attendant, who charges USH 30,000 to extract each tooth.
The residents have appealed to the government to send more health workers to the hospital and also be strict on those there to always to be on duty so that the cleaners and watchmen are not given gaps to operate in.
For the latest on national news, politics, sport, entertainment and more follow us on Twitter and like our Facebook page!