Kapchorwa Hospital accused of turning away patients from other districts

Kapchorwa hospital medical workers are being accused of turning away patients from other districts, saying they are not from their catchment area. Several women who had gone for antenatal care in the hospital said they were advised to seek medical services from facilities in Kween district.

“If an expectant mother has visited relatives in Kapchorwa, she cannot attend antenatal services in the hospital because it is not in their home district,” said Stephen Kiplagat, a resident. “The nurse asks them why they have not gone to their health centres in Kween.” Some people say residents of Bukwo district have also been turned away. According to residents, local leaders have been notified, though they are yet to act.

The facility is the referral hospital for Bukwo, Sironko, Bukedea, Kween, Sironko, Amudat and Bulambuli districts. Kapchorwa district alone has a population estimated at more than 87,000 people. The hospital normally has one midwife on duty. The facility lacks an incinerator and has improvised a hotplate for a steriliser. A 2012 New Vision investigation (http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/628654-one-doctor-serves-300-000-patients-in-kapchorwa-hospital.html) revealed that the facility had only one doctor at the time and he also acted as its superintendent. Due to low funding, the hospital, with a 64-bed capacity, reportedly spends much of the money it receives from the Government on paying support staff, rehabilitation, buying fuel and repairing vehicles.

- May 7, 2014
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