Hospital deaths in Uganda :We shall not go after individual doctors but govt – activists

KAMPALA. Individual doctors who in the course of treating patients find themselves on the wrong side of the law, will not be prosecuted for the same but rather the hospital and attorney general of the district, a health activists have said.
Mr David Kabanda, a health activist from Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD), explained that it would be wrong from the human rights perspective to sue or hold individual medics for professional mistakes that they may make given the appalling conditions that they work under instead of holding their supervisors-government, the Daily Monitor reports.

“Yes we agree that health workers are agents of government but it will be wrong for me to hold the health worker accountable if they did not have the useable for example,” counsel Kabanda said last evening at Makerere University Main Hall while attending the heated local government and service delivery discussion organized by CEHURD.

He added: “It’s important that you hold the duty bearer accountable such that if they provide, procure the necessary requirement, then these health workers can go ahead and implement but in light of inadequacies, in light of low motivation to a health work force, it would be wrong from a human rights perspective if you went ahead and sued individual health workers,”
“The moment they don’t do that; it will be wrong for me to go and sue an individual health worker when I actually know what they go through on the daily basis. Many doctors are over worked .Someone is supposed to deliver four mothers in a day but the work load is between 30 and 15 women; so you find that if you sued them, it would be double punishment,” he added.

Mr Kabanda further noted that that sometimes some medics are neglect but them as civil society, they will always go for their supervisors i.e the district or government through the Attorney General.
“If an individual doctor is wrong, where were you as his supervisor. Let’s us deal with you the supervisor and then the supervisor can go in-house and deal with him. But for us, we want to show the supervisor that they were not doing their work,” he cautioned.

In the recent past, judges have wondered why CEHURD has not jointly suing government alongside individual medics who have been found professionally neglect and guilty by court for causing the death of patient/s and that as such, they should be held liable.
During last evening’s discussion, there were mixed feelings about the work done by medics in government hospitals especially Mulago national referral hospital.

The majority of the participants who included Makerere University students and health workers from various local government hospitals across the country, decried of the appalling state of the health facilities coupled with the rude attitude that the nurses show towards the patients. Health statistics show that 17 expectant women die daily of preventable maternal deaths.

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