CID OFFICERS ORDERED TO INVESTIGATE HOSPITALS DETAINING DEAD BODIES OVER UNPAID BILLS
Video: MoH MESSAGE ON CHILDREN & MATERNAL HEALTH
By Joel Mugabi
Uganda Police Force (UPF) Deputy Director of Criminal Investigations Paul Katto Muhimbise has directed all District and Divisional CID Officers to arrest private healthcare providers who have made it a habit to overcharge patients and detain dead bodies over relatives’ failure to pay bills.
In a September 14 notice titled ‘Overcharging Patients and Other Forms of Misconduct by Private Health Care Providers,’ issued to all district and divisional CID officers, and copied to IGP Martins Okoth Ochola, Tumuhimbise rightly notes that there have been “a lot of concern and public outcry regarding Private Health Care Providers overcharging Covid19 patients, retaining patients that have recovered and dead bodies for failure to settle their medical bills.”
At the peak of the second wave of Covid19, Ugandans were shocked by the huge bills slapped on Covid19 patients. There were also cases of relatives who had to cough millions of money before private hospitals could release the bodies of their beloved ones who had succumbed to the deadly viral disease.
The Deputy Director of Criminal Investigations has noted that although private facilities were vital in supporting and supplementing government hospitals in the provision of medical services, they should charge reasonable bills for the services rendered to Ugandans.
Tumuhimbise also went on to say that instead of detaining patients or corpses over unpaid bills, health facilities should sue defaulters in courts of law to recover their money. He has since ordered CID officers to put an end to acts by health facilities to hold patients and dead bodies pending clearance of fees.
“Therefore, the practice of overcharging patients and retaining them plus dead bodies is not only illegal but Inhuman and this should be stopped,” he said. “You are therefore directed to take interest in investigating and apprehending Private Health Care providers who continue to break the law by committing offences like wrongful confinement, hindering burial of the dead that are closely stipulated in the Penal Code.”(For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994, 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org).