The management of Holy family hospital Nyapea, a private non- profit hospital in Zombo district has called for the suspension of the charges on Oxygen to health facilities who are treating COVID-19 at a subsidized rate.
Zombo district has registered 137 COVID-19 positive cases in June alone. The Hospital which has been charging patients 75,000 shillings for treating COVID-19 registered up to 72 Positive cases including 14 who were treated on medical oxygen. The hospital has so far registered 4 deaths from COVID-19 at the facility.
The Minister of Health Jane Ruth Aceng called on health facilities to stop charging patients for medical oxygen during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now according to Jimmy Omara, the Medical Officer at the facility, they are being charged to refill oxygen tank at 35,000 shillings from Arua Regional Referral Hospital, and yet they render subsidized services. Nyapea hospital has 9 oxygen cylinders.
He called on Government to suspend the charges on hospitals who give subsidized treatment to patients of COVID-19 for their entire stay until recovery.
He says that with the subsidized charge on treatment, it is very expensive to sustain such costs. He told the MPs that they even have receipts for all the transactions of the refilling of oxygen cylinders.
The MPs were shocked to find out that a Government facility is charging for refilling of oxygen cylinders and yet Government is in the wake of fighting the pandemic.
Bramali Mark Bonny, the Acting DHO Zombo said that there needs to be adequate support for the facility.
He says that they have previously been stranded with patients since hospitals like Arua, Lacor among others have not had enough space to handle patients. He also says their ambulance is also used to transport both COVID-19 cases and other complications.
The hospital also faces a challenge of Personal Protective Equipment’s, limited staffing and lack of essential medicine among others.
Obongi County MP George Didi Bhoka said that the team has noted the concerns of the facility and they will include it in their report for intervention.