By Uganda Online Media
Kampala: Troubled Mulago Hospital Executive Director, Dr. Baterana Byarugaba has handed over office to his deputy Dr, Rose Mary Byanyima after 11 years of service at Mulago Hospital.
Following the ongoing investigations into allegations of abuse of office, embezzlement, causing financial loss and fraudulent false accounting by the State House Health Monitoring Unit, Dr.Beterana was Interdicted from office and consequently ordered to hand over to his deputy.
The Ministry of Health Permanent Secretary Diana Atwine interdicted Dr. Baterana ordering him to vacate office with immediate effect.
Baterana was on Tuesday last week arrested together with six other officials from Mulago by the State House Health Monitoring Unit for the ongoing investigation into shs 28.8 billion which allegedly disappeared in thin air and unaccounted for at Mulago national referral hospital.
“Pursuant to section F-s and F-r of the Public Service Standing Orders 2021, you are hereby interdicted for duty to pave way for investigations and you will receive half pay with immediate effect until the charges against you have been cleared,” Dr.Atwine said in her letter.
According to the letter, Dr.Baterana was advised to hand over office to his deputy, Dr.Rosemary Byanyima but also to keep away from Mulago hospital until advised otherwise and also barred from leaving the country.
” You are therefore required to hand over your work and office to the deputy director, Dr. Rosemary Byanyima in accordance with section f-d(4) of the public service standing orders and keep away from your duty station until you are advised otherwise. During the period of interdiction, you shall not leave the country without my written permission,” Atwine added in her letter.
On Wednesday, Baterana handed over office to his deputy, Dr. Rosemary Byanyima during a function held at Mulago.
Speaking during the handover, he noted that during the 11 years in which he served as the hospital Executive Director a lot has been achieved by the national referral hospital.
“The first oxygen plant in Uganda since independence was established in 2012 under my leadership. Previously, we imported oxygen from Kenya and depended on industrial oxygen,” Dr.Baterana boasted.
He noted that oxygen plants were extended to Kawempe and Kiruddu hospitals.
The embattled Mulago Executive Director said that under his leadership, dialysis was made simple that the country now boasts of over 60 dialysis machines at Mulago, Kiruddu and four for specialized services.
Dr.Baterana said he oversaw the construction of housing unit for the first time for Mulago hospital staff and that more are in the pipeline.
“We did plan and construction of a specialized women hospital of 453 bed capacity and 11 operating theatres. This was planned as a maternal unit of the Mulago hospital but was later made a hospital of its own. We operationalized Kawempe, Kiruddu and Mulago as independent hospitals while using the small budget of Mulago and we didn’t cause any health crisis in this country.”
According to Dr.Baterana, it was during his tenure that management fought for Mulago’s land which he said was being threatened by grabbers.
He also mentioned the ongoing renovation works for Mulago including the equipping and increasing the number Intensive care unit and high dependency unit beds.
Despite the achievements, Dr.Baterana said there are some challenges that he said will continue hindering proper service delivery at the national referral hospital.
“The budget of Mulago is small yet the requirements are so many. Half of the budget goes into salaries and another big percentage for pension and gratuity. The non -wage recurrent is very little, yet it is the one to run the hospital,” he said.
He insisted there is need to increase the budget and increase salaries for health workers to ensure they are satisfied with what they earn.
Dr.Baterana also noted there is need to put in place a law that ensures health workers in government hospitals don’t work in private facilities to ensure there is no double loyalty.
Speaking at the same function, the incoming acting Mulago Executive Director, Dr. Rosemary Byanyima said she will emphasize to the staff to work as a team.
“I pledge to do the work through teamwork,” she noted.
The Health Ministry undersecretary, Kenneth Akiira who represented the Permanent Secretary hailed Dr.Baterana for registering several successes for the national referral hospital and assured him of their support in the ongoing investigations against him.
“As a ministry and as people who have oversight over this institution, we only pledge that we are going to work with responsible agencies to ensure that the issues on the table are resolved or brought to the conclusion so that the facts are known and see how to move forward,”Akiira said.
“We shall work with those responsible to ensure investigations are done and completed in good time so that we get to the bottom of all this.