By Cullen Browder, WRAL presenter/reporterFor nearly two years, WRAL Investigates has been covering the mental…
Patients seeking treatment at Muyembe IV health center in Bulambuli district have accused health workers of showing up for work late and leaving early.
Ms Mary Naguti, one of the patients, told this publication that health workers at the facility show up for work at 10 a.m. and leave by 2 p.m.
“It has become a habit for health workers to show up late for work and leave early at this facility,” she said.
Poor working conditions hamper the delivery of health services
She added that this is why many people are self-medicating.
Another patient, Mr Mike Wandero, said: ‘There is no service delivery here as health workers have slacked off on time management and absenteeism is rampant.’
Mr. Dennis Wanyoro, resident and youth leader, said the most affected communities are those in hard-to-reach areas.
“There is a lot of suffering because people don’t have access to quality health care as health workers miss work, which remains a serious concern,” Wanyoro said.
Hard-to-reach sub-counties include Bumasogo, Buluganya, Bugisinyaka and Bumasoka.
Deputy Resident District Commissioner Mr Amir Kamba visited the facility around 1.30pm claiming to be ill and seeking treatment last week but to his dismay was turned away along with others patients who had lined up in hopes of being cured.
“I had received numerous reports of health workers showing up late and leaving early at several health facilities, but to my disappointment I proved the disastrous act in the facility when I was turned away “said Mr Kamba.
Mr Kamba said he ordered the arrest of two health workers, Mr Jonathan Wangwe and Ms Basi Nakusi, for neglect of duty.
“Mr Wangwe was arrested for refusing to attend to patients at 1:30 p.m. after telling them to leave that it was late,” Mr Kamba said.
He ordered the Chief of Administration to take punitive action against health workers who were absent from the duty station.
“I will take action against wandering health workers by all means. With what I personally saw on the pitch, it’s sad! And I promise to take tough action,” he said.
Bulambuli District Health Officer Dr Vicent Natega said he would take disciplinary action against the two officers.
“Continued absenteeism is unprofessional, undisciplined and completely unacceptable behavior and must be stopped with immediate effect,” he said.
About the establishment
Muyembe IV Health Center serves three sub-counties including Bulambuli Town Council, Bulegeni and Muyembe with a population of between 250,000 and 300,000 including Kapchorwa. The district has 26 health facilities.