THE DIRECTOR of the Uganda Cancer Institute has come up to admit that many employees and some of his juniors solicit or accept bribes from desperate patients. he has however urged them to report the corrupt health workers to him for disciplinary action.
This development comes days after reports of theft of cancer funds by a prominent city restaurant boss only identified as Tabas. During cancer fund raising campaign at the city restaurant from June to October 2016, the fast food joint, Kamokya based Cafe Javas came on spotlight for financial improprieties of charity funds. This was after a discovery that the branch manager, Tabas commonly known as Mandela and an employee identified as Musa Onek allegedly stole money estimated to be 50,000 dollars (approximately Ush 173,000,000) that was meant to fight cancer.
Dr. Jackson Orem, in an interaction last week while commissioning an adult section at the Fred Hutch Institute at Mulago National Referral Hospital revealed that some doctors at thecancer institute have turned away patients in dire conditions simply because they failed to raise the money they had asked from them probably an extra fee for their selfish benefits.
“They (health workers) even threaten some patients against reporting them to my office promising them even worse treatment and that is why we can’t stop fighting it,” Orem confirmed.
But Orem, who insisted that cancer treatment services at the Cancer Institute in Mulago are free of charge, he urged patients not to get intimidated by the health workers but instead take the complaints to his office directly.
“If any doctor asks you for a bribe in exchange for treatment or any service here, kindly please don’t fear coming to my office or wherever you may find me and report immediately so that I will be able to take the necessary action,” Orem said.
Despite the grim reports of corruption, Dr. Orem had reason to smile at the inauguration of the adult section of the cancer institute which he said would greatly reduce congestion at the institute while also helping to improve service delivery.