July 15, 2024

MPs Ask Gulu Hospital Management Over Missing ICU Beds

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The Members of Parliament on the committee on government assurances and implementation have tasked the management of Gulu Regional Referral Hospital to explain the circumstances under which they disaggregated their intensive care unit (ICU).

The MPs, led by committee chairperson Abed Bwanika, visited the hospital on Friday to follow up on government interventions in the health sector and new cities and districts. In 2019, parliament approved a loan request under the Intergovernmental Fiscal Transfers (UgIFT) program, authorizing the government to borrow up to approximately Sh200 billion from the International Development Association (IDA) of the World Bank Group.

The loan was meant to support the upgrading of health center IIs to health center IIIs in all sub-counties. In 2021, parliament approved an additional loan request, authorizing the government to borrow the equivalent of Shs 352.2 billion from the IDA to facilitate the completion of the upgrade of the health centers.

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The additional request was also meant to aid in the construction and equipment of new health center IIIs and the equipping and recruitment of staff for all upgraded health center IIs, among others. The committee that visited the hospital, however, established that, whereas the hospital received 10 ICU beds, only four were still fully functioning. The committee also found out that other ICU equipment, like monitors, ventilators, and ICU beds, was moved for other purposes around the hospital, which has over time crippled the ICU unit.

During the MPs’ visit, two ICU beds were also found to have broken down and are not being used anymore. Joyce Bagala, deputy chairperson of the committee, wondered where all the components of the ICU beds were, as what was shown to the committee were simply incomplete ICU units.

“You told us the beds in the ICU were supplied by JICA, and we told you that the government also brought beds here, and we asked you how many beds you have, but they do not have the accessories; these are not full units of the ICU,” she said.

Bwanika told uncoveredug news reporters that “we are dismayed by what we have witnessed in the hospital; those who are concerned cannot account for this equipment; they do not know where this equipment is; some were dismantled, and some are being used as normal beds.”.

In conclusion, Bwanika tasked the hospital with explaining where some of the ICU equipment went and why it was dismantled and is now being used as normal beds. Bwanika noted that the ICU equipment was bought expensively, and it is unfortunate that the ICU system of the hospital is crippled because what is meant to be ICU was disaggregated.

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written by @enock katamba

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