Ugandan Health Minister Disguises to Catch Corrupt Hospital Workers

The Health Minister of Uganda, Ms Sarah Opendi revealed that she disguised herself as a patient in order to catch corrupt health workers. It worked, because two people were caught.
The incident took place on Friday at the Chinese-built Naguru hospital.
The medical workers she caught were reportedly demanding bribe for free services that are fully funded and provided by the Ugandan government.
According to her, she wore a face veil and traveled to a hospital in the capital of her state, Kampala on a boda-boda (motorbike taxi) to disguise her identity.
She had to because she received many complaints that the staff at the hospital were extorting money from patients, which was unethical.
“I received many complaints that the staff at the hospital was extorting money from patients. 
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She went through normal patient procedures for some laboratory tests, for which she was told to pay 150,000 shillings (35 euros, $40) – “yet these are all supposed to be free”.According to the report, she told them she did not have money but they insisted and asked her to get testing strips from a nurse who also asked for a sum for the strip.READ ALSO: Protest As Woman Reportedly Detained In LUTH For Unsettled Bills Dies

“I told him I didn’t have the money but he insisted. I paid her and thereafter I called in the police who arrested the two staff,” she said.

The Deputy hospital director, Dr Stephen Kyebambe expressed gratitude to the Minister.

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“The minister must be congratulated for unearthing this racket of extortionists at our hospital. We are grateful. Otherwise patients suffer in the hands of these cruel staff,” he said.

The practice of extorting patients in Ugandan government hospitals, where medical workers earn as little as $70 per month, has been an issue for a while now.

According to Ms Opendi, the suspects will be taken to the Anti-Corruption Court over corruption charges and they would make sure those tarnishing the image of the system to answer for their offenses.
Thumbs up to the Healh Minister! Wouldn’t this be a good thing to replicate in Nigeria?
Photo credit: AFP
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“Ugandan Health Minister Disguises to Catch Corrupt Hospital Workers”

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