TORORO, UGANDA: An x-ray machine procured by the health ministry for Tororo General Hospital has remained idle for three years since delivery. The machine has not been put to use since its procurement in 2019 rising concern from legislators on the Public Accounts Committee who made an impromptu visit to the hospital on Monday to ascertain challenges affecting the government health facility.
Led by Sarah Opendi, the Tororo District Woman MP wants the health ministry to explain why the X-ray machine that was procured to serve the community is nonfunctional forcing community members to seek X-ray services from private health caregivers.
Dr. Thomas Ochar, the medical superintendent of Tororo General Hospital says that the service provider didn’t deliver key parts like the power system stabilizer (PSS), which is key in operating the x-ray machine. He says that the facility has been operating without an X-ray machine for some time forcing them to refer patients to private health facilities.
Opendi who led the delegation of MPs, said the idle X-ray machine is part of the 17 that the Ministry of Health procured while she was still the Minister of State for Health and General Duties. She wondered why a mere uninterrupted power supply-UPS can cause the machine to stay idle for that time.
Isaac Mudoi, the Lutestshe County MP said it was uncalled for to have such vital equipment kept idle for over three years because it has deprived citizens of access to important health services. Noah Okumu, the Tororo District Health Secretary said it has become hard for patients to access X-ray services in private facilities because of the related costs.
John Okea, the Tororo district LC V chairperson said that to access X-ray services in private facilities, residents sell off their properties, which he says has contributed to increasing poverty levels in the district.