Lira Regional Referral Hospital turns away more than 50 patients in need of x-ray services and ultra sounds services on daily basis due to the breakdown of the vital machines a year ago.
Michael Odur, the Principal Administrator Lira Regional Referral Hospital, says the two machines were part of those supplied to all regional and district hospitals across the country seven years ago.
Odur explains they have tried to fix the machines but they suffer regular breakdowns, adding that they need more than Shillings 20 million to repair them.
Odur says the hospital has no option but to turn away and refer patients in need of these services to private clinics.
He says the hospital is aware of the exorbitant amount of money patients are charged for these services but their hands are tied.
Jasper Okello, a resident of Amukugungu in Otwal sub county in Oyam district who is attending to his 14-year-old child is dissatisfied with the inadequate services offered at the X-ray unit. He claims that when he brought his child to the hospital with a broken leg, he was turned away and advised to seek x-ray services from private clinics and return for treatment.
Okello claims that he has so far spent 130, 000 Shillings at a private clinic in town to conduct three x-rays on his child’s leg. Private clinics in Lira charge between Shillings 30, 000 to 40,000 for each x-ray service exposure.
Odur says on average Lira Regional Referral Hospital receives at least more than 1, 500 clients who turn up for x-ray and ultra-machine services on a monthly basis.
These include expectant mothers, TB patients and accident victims. Odur however, says all is not lost since government has contracted DASH -S Technologies, a Rwanda based firm to repair major medical machines across the country. He says the company started working on the machine last week and is expected to start work soon.
According to the Annual Demographic and Health Survey 2016 report, 49 x-ray machines across the health facility in the country are due for repairs.
Lira Regional Referral Hospital is one of the high volume hospitals.
According to the 2014 census data, Lira Hospital serves a population of 408,043 in Lira district. With a capacity of 346 beds, Lira Hospital offers both general and specialized services and is a teaching hospital. The hospital serves the Lango sub-region comprised of the districts of Lira, Oyam, Amolatar, Otuke, Kole, Alebtong, Dokolo and Apac and other neighbouring districts of Abim, Pader and Agago.