Arua regional referral hospital demands legal grounding for political visits

todayJuly 26, 2021

By Frederick Dramadri

A sharp row has erupted between the management of Arua Regional Referral Hospital and the local leaders over supervision of the facility.

Dr Filbert Nyeko, the director of the hospital in his presentation requested for an enabling legislation to regulate and monitor the visit of the hospital by the local leaders from the various districts across West Nile Sub region. This was during a recent joint covid-19 taskforce meeting chaired by the Member of Parliament for Obongi constituency Dr. George Didi Bhoka initiated by the parliamentary committee on Covid-19 response for Northern Uganda with the District leadership of the various districts of Terego, Madi Okollo, Arua and Arua City to ascertain the gaps and appreciate successes made by the various taskforces and forge way forward.

“The regional hospital continues wobbly to the districts, there is no legislative grounding that would link the facility to the local governments. The relationship therefore is on a gentleman’s understanding, we honestly would want a law to regulate all visits here”. Nyeko said.

The statement however did not go down well with a section of political leaders, with some expressing bitter experiences when they had gone to perform supervisory roles at the facility.

Paparu Lillian, the woman Member of Parliament Arua District said this clearly defines some of the characters of the Director when reached his office for a courtesy visit. She accused the director of running the facility like a pocket business without anyone’s involvement.

“The management of the Referral Hospital pretends to be more above than the local leadership of this region. Why do you make it look like you are only accountable to the ministry of health alone? It’s like the RDCs, RCC, the Mayor and the DHOs are below you and you are answerable to someone else”, she said.

Rev Fr. Charles Onen the Member Parliament for Pece-Laro Division in Gulu City who is also a Member of the Parliamentary committee on Covid-19 response describes the request unfortunate.

“My observation is that the relationship between the referral hospital and the local leaders in West Nile is like the relationship between North Korea and South Korea. When we were still in our camp, we received a distressing phone call from management of the hospital stopping us from accessing the hospital. You don’t have any authority to stop Members of Parliament from accessing the Hospital. You are going to fail the region, dear director if this continues,” he said.

Late last month, stakeholders drawn from Arua district and the city stormed Arua regional referral hospital of the continued increasing deaths of coronavirus patients in the Intensive Care Unit ICU allegedly due lack of power supply for oxygen production which in turn claimed the lives of five people in only two days in a week.

The Lord Mayor Arua City Wadri Sam Nyakua says that this is the reason that defines the alleged mistreatments of some of the local leaders who move to observe the activities in the facility.

“The problem with this Hospital is that the Hospital administration will tell you we are independent, don’t poke your nose into our things and it’s as if you’re pursuing a personal problem, so some of us have folded our hands and we even fear to go for treatment in this facility because when you point out issues like this they turn it into tribal issues”. Wadri revealed.

COVER PHOTO: Dr. Filbert Nyeko the Arua hospital director. He is demanding a legal grounding for all visits to the facility.

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