A mother who gave birth to twins five months ago is still held hostage at Bishop Ceaser Asili Memorial Hospital in Luweero town over unpaid medical bills.
The mother, identified as Stella Adongo, a resident of Kizito zone in Luweero district, was admitted at the facility on December 21, 2016 and gave birth to twins by caesarean section. She was subsequently billed 495,000 Shillings which she had to clear before she could be discharged from the facility.
However, the 20-year together with her husband Festo Magumba failed to raise the money. The man later disappeared and switched off his mobile phone leaving the mover stranded. Adongo has since remained in the maternity ward where she and her children are surviving on handouts from well-wishers.
Adongo says that the hospital administrators refused to discharge her and she gets daily reminders from the hospital cashier to clear the bill before getting out of the facility.
Adongo was also supposed to undergo another operation three months after delivery. However, the hospital declined to conduct the operation over unpaid bills.
Bishop Ceaser Asili Memorial is Catholic Church founded private hospital based in Luweero town. The facility receives 77 million Shillings annually under the Primary Health Care strategy, which seeks to make health care accessible to all individuals and families in a community.
Paul Mukungu the LC III Chairperson of Luweero Town Council faults the health facility for the inhumane treatment that Adongo has been subjected to over the last five months. He says that there is no reason for the hospital to hold the patient they have access to Primary Health Care funds allocated by the Ministry of Health to address such challenges.
But Sister Ernestine Akullu, the Administrator of Bishop Ceaser Asili Memorial Hospital denied holding the patient. She says that the hospital had hired the husband Festo Magumba as a porter on its construction site to help him raise the money. However, Magumba worked for only one day and disappeared from the site.
Akullu adds that the facility subsequently sought her relatives and advised them to commit to a payment plan but they failed to adhere to the advice. She says that they have since petitioned FIDA, the Association of Women Lawyers to intervene in the matter and restore hope for the desperate mother.
Stella Adongo met with Festo Magumba in Gulu where he had gone to burn charcoal and relocated with him to Luweero town council to start the family.