The breakdown of Mulago cancer institute radiotherapy machine has raised eyebrows leading to the unearthing of more health hazards Ugandans have had to endure for years.
The latest report indicates that Masaka hospital’s X-ray machine is also broken and out of use.
Located in Masaka town, it is a referral hospital for the districts of Kalangala, Lyantonde, Masaka and Sembabule, Kalungu, Lwengo, Bukomansimbi and Rakai.
The hospital averages about 450 daily admissions.
And following the breakdown of a cancer machine at the Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI), the Parliament’s Health Committee also heard that the only ex-ray machine in Butabika hospital also broke down recently.
The hospital’s executive director, Dr David Basangwa, tabled a request for Shs400m for a new machine.
Located in Nakawa division and on shores of Lake Victoria, Butabika is the mental health national referral hospital for the entire country’s estimated population of 36 million in 2014.
In Masindi, the main hospital’s autoclave machine broke down two years ago.
‘Autoclave’ is a term used mainly in laboratories whilst ‘Sterilizer’ is used more commonly for medical and pharmaceutical applications.
Autoclaves are used in medical applications to perform sterilisation.
On Monday, the head of Medicines and Health Service Delivery Monitoring Unit at State House, Dr Diana Atwine, criticised the rot in the health sector and downgraded Mulago National Referral Hospital as a health facility in shambles and likened it to a market.
She said medicines are getting spoilt, they are doing shoddy work and stealing money in construction, some doctors close facilities and go for weddings, doctor houses are filled with sorghum and others turned into chicken houses and medicines cannot be accounted for.
Mulago Hospital executive director, Dr Baterana Byarugaba, and Health ministry Permanent Secretary Dr Asuman Lukwago dismissed Dr Atwine’s claims saying Mulago was under-funded and is steeped in debt owed by government ministries, departments, and agencies.
Dr Byarugaba said that they are spending Shs1,500 on breakfast, lunch and supper for the patients.
The Hospital also spends Shs7,000 to operate a patient.