If you are a patient seeking health services at Arua Regional Referral Hospital in the West Nile Region and you do not own a smart phone but you need radiology services, chances are that you will be denied treatment.
The hospital management claims to have fully operationalized the newly constructed Out Patients Department (OPD0 facility equipped with modern equipment, constructed with a grant from the government of Japan.
if you are a patient seeking radiology services like X-ray and computerised tomography CT scan at the OPD the results of your radiology examination results are sent to you the patients’ smart phone as opposed to the old practice where the results are printed on X-ray film.
Fred Tabu, the deputy Arua city speaker who was referred for X-ray services at the facility this week, said several patients could not be attended to due to lack of a smartphone to access their results. Tabu noted that at least three patients who had turned up for x-ray services were turned away in his presence since they lacked smartphones.
Paul Atayo, a businessman in Arua city wants the hospital administration to go slow in the digitalization of services in the facility noting that a large number of the population lacks smartphones. He further argues that several residents cannot afford smartphones since they are expensive.
Dr. Alex Andema, the Director of Arua Regional Referral Hospital explains that they adopted the use of smartphones especially for accessing X-ray results in order to improve efficiency of their services. Dr. Andema denied the claims by patients that those without smartphones are being denied x-ray services.
In 2022, the Uganda Communications Commission (UCC) market report estimated that Smartphone penetration in the country stood at 30% while the remaining 70% of Ugandans use a basic phone or feature phone.