17 September, 2017
Covered in a face veil, Opendi visited Naguru General Hospital in Kampala on a boda-boda and was asked for Laboratory fees amounting to USh150,000, (KSh5,000) for services that are supposed to be free.
One of the suspects who was arrested at Naguru-China Friendship Hospital after asking the State Minister for Health, Ms Sarah Opendi, for a bribe, has been masquerading as a laboratory technologist for six years without any qualifications.
The minister said she had heard health workers were demanding a bribe to carry out free treatment.
"I went to the doctor who I informed me about my sickness".
When she finally got to the doctor, the doctor also asked for a bribe of shs100,000 to conduct the test. When she arrived at the hospital at 10am, she told the medical officials on duty that she wanted to take hepatitis B test. She said: "I received many complaints that the staff at the hospital was extorting money from patients".
"I told him I didn't have the money but he insisted".
She was then sent to fetch the testing strips from a nursing assistant, who asked for money as well.
However, several health workers who spoke to this reporter after the arrest of their colleagues indicated that they work under bad conditions which tempt them to ask for money from patients in order to survive.
Ms Sheila Okodi, a senior hospital administrator, said the National Medical Stores was yet to deliver some of the supplies that are out of stock.