A doctor at Mulago national referral hospital has blamed management here for negligence that resulted in a break-in and theft of vital parts of the only Computed tomography (CT) scan. Preferring anonymity, the doctor says the hospital management deliberately left the machine to be vandalized.
“How can you leave such a very expensive machine without serious protection during the process of shifting and renovation of the hospital?” asked the angry doctor.
Early this year, thieves broke into the Mulago radiology department and took off with the CT scan’s main monitor, computer, among other vital parts, and the machine cannot work without them.
The CT scan machine captures images that provide more detailed information of internal body organs such as lungs, heart, brain, kidney, liver and others, especially for accident victims. Enock Kusasira, the hospital spokesperson, said if there is anyone to blame, it should be the contractors handling the refurbishment of Mulago.
“We handed over the site longtime to the contractors. So, it was the duty of the contractors to protect the machine since relocation of equipment is not an easy process because of the rays,” Kusasira said, insisting that no conclusions should be drawn since the matter was under police investigation.
Although it is over a month since this incident, Kampala Metropolitan Police spokesperson Emillian Kayima told The Observer that the matter was still under investigation but there are no arrests so far.
Kayima had earlier told The Observer that police handed over its investigation report to a team of investigators from the ministry of health, led by the permanent secretary, Dr Diana Atwine.
On the contrary, Dr Atwine told The Observer on Monday that they handed over the issues to police a long time ago to investigate but they had not given them any report.
“I am yet to find out if they have made any report and I will be able to share it, but I know people recorded statements,” Dr Atwine said.
There are currently no CT scanning services at Mulago but Kusasira told us this week that they were reinstalling it (CT scan) in Upper Mulago by repairing the areas which were vandalized. However, he could not put a date on when it would be operational.
According to Kusasira, the CT machine has been handling between 30 and 40 patients a day and 75 per cent of these are accident victims and victims of iron-bar hit-men. These are now being refereed to private imaging centres where scans are more expensive. For instance, a head CT scan at Mulago costs between Shs 120,000 and Shs 150,000 but the cheapest in private centres costs Shs 200,000.
Mulago hospital is undergoing a major remodeling at a cost of up to $50m; with this money, the hospital is expected to procure new key equipments including a state-of-the-art CT scan. Kusasira said they are also in the process of installing CT scans at Kiruddu and Kawempe hospitals.
OBSERVERMulago's vandalised CT scan creates blame game