By Uganda Online Media
Kampala: Ministry of Health has directed the National Drug Authority to kick out all private pharmacies operating within government hospitals.
This follows the arrest of Mulago ED Dr. Baterana who’s being accused of allowing two private pharmacies to operate within Mulago.
Baterana was on Tuesday arrested together with six other officials from Mulago by the State House Health Monitoring Unit for the ongoing investigation into shs28.8 billion which allegedly disappeared in thin air and unaccounted for at Mulago national referral hospital.
Dr. Baterana is also accused of abuse of office, embezzlement, causing financial loss, and fraudulent false accounting and has since been interdicted to pave way for investigations.
According to the National Drug Authority, the operations will begin on Monday next week.
The State House Health Monitoring Unit director, Dr.Warren Namara told journalists on Wednesday this week that following complaints by some members of the public in April last year, they started an investigation into the procurement processes, drugs, human resource management, and finances at the hospital leading to a number of queries that culminated into Baterana’s arrest.
“A total of 65 staff both serving and retired were interviewed and statements recorded and so far it has been established that a total of shs974 million is unaccounted for the period of two years of July 2019 to 2021. The accounting officer(Baterana) failed to notify the Accountant General about missing vouchers amounting to shs5.27 billion” Dr.Namara said.
He explained that in November 2016, Mulago contracted two companies including MS Setramaco International Limited and MS Convention World Limited to provide a number of services including running the laundry machines, central sterile supply department, and steam boilers among others.
The State House Health Monitoring Unit also explained that investigations unearthed suspicious procurement processes of medicines and other medical supplies done by private health facilities.
“The investigating team also conducted verification of supplies allegedly procured from First Pharmacy by the hospital. The verifications were prompted upon establishing from IFMS payment statements obtained from the Accountant General indicating that during the period under investigation, Mulago had paid First Pharmacy a total of shs1.4 billion as payments for medicines procured and supplied under emergency orders presumably after running out of National Medical Stores supplied stocks,” Dr.Namara said.