Kampala, Uganda. Sept 17th: On Friday morning, September 15th, Uganda’s Health Minister Sarah Opendi reportedly disguised as a patient to Naguru-China Friendship hospital to fish out corrupt doctors and nurses. The Ugandan Health Minister who was dressed in a Hijab and with her face covered in a veil like a Muslim woman, came in the guise of a patient to investigate reports of alleged corruption in the hospital.
Health Minister Sarah Opendi said:
“I arrived here and disguised myself as a patient with abdominal complications. I wanted to confirm reports I have been receiving from the public that Naguru health workers ask patients to pay for [the supposedly] free services. I went to the doctor who I informed about my sickness. The doctor then recommended that I do some tests including: liver function test, diabetes and Hepatitis B,”
Reports stated that a laboratory technician and a nursing assistant were caught-handed by the Minister for charging patients for services meant to be given free to the public.
She handed the suspects over to police for further investigation.
One of the suspects who was arrested at Naguru-China Friendship Hospital after asking the State Minister for Health, Ms Sarah Opendi, for a bribe, has reportedly been masquerading as a laboratory technologist for six years without any qualifications.
Andrew Kalule was arrested after he asked Ms Opendi for Shs150,000 to perform tests recommended by the doctor.
It was at the main laboratory where the minister was directed, that Mr Kalule asked for a bribe to perform the tests and was soon after arrested.
After being interrogated by detectives of the State House Monitoring Unit led by Mr Collins Karugaba, it was discovered that he has been masquerading as a laboratory technologist since 2011 yet he has no qualifications.“It’s true, the suspect we arrested confessed that he is not qualified to work in the laboratory and he has been fleecing patients since 2011. This indicates there is a syndicate so we shall also probe the hospital administration,” said Mr Karugaba.
Photo: Uganda Health Minister Sarah Opendi Disguises In Hijab As Patient To Hospital To Expose Graft
Ms Christine Namanda, a nursing assistant, was the second person to be arrested after allegedly asking for Shs5,000 in order to avail testing strips used to diagnose diabetes. Ms Namanda who had just returned from maternity leave told journalists that the testing strips were out of stock at hospital but would only be availed at a cost.
The deputy hospital director, Dr Stephen Kyebambe, applauded the minister for helping them expose staff who have been extorting money from patients.
Health Minister Sarah Opendi said the suspects will be taken to the Anti-Corruption Court over corruption charges.