July 25, 2013

Health Ministry Begins Crackdown On Fake Laboratories

The Ministry of Health is embarking on mandatory registration of medical laboratories in all government and private health facilities as a way of wiping out fake ones.

Chrisestom Muhereza, the acting head of inspection and quality assurance at Allied Health Professionals Council, says the registration exercise to start in August will be done by the council throughout the country.

Muhereza, who is in Bunyoro heading an operation to crackdown on substandard health facilities, was speaking in an interview with local media in Hoima town on Wednesday. The operation started on Monday.

He says the Ministry has observed with concern that most laboratories in public and private health facilities are of low standard, which endangers the life of patients. Muhereza explains that during registration, issues of personnel operating the labs, the quality of reagents among others will be focused on. He says all fake laboratories will be closed down during the exercise.

On Tuesday, the team closed down Ajuna Bunyoro Clinic in Hoima town for its substandard services. Fred Oyesigye, the Hoima Regional Supervisor for Allied Health Professionals Council, says besides the fake laboratory, the health facility had unqualified personnel running it.

Oyesigye explains that this is the second health facility to be closed down in the region after Walabyeki clinic in Masindi town. The clinic was closed on Tuesday. He says more facilities will be closed as the operation continues in the region.

Aidah Kusemererwa, a laboratory Assistant at the closed Ajuna Bunyoro Royal Clinic, says much as they are qualified and know the required standards, lack of employment forces them to compromise and work with what their employers have provided.

The team had tasked Kusemererwa to explain why she operates a fake laboratory yet she is professional.

Meanwhile the council has noted with concern that about 80 percent of medical workers in government and private health facilities in Bunyoro lack operational licenses. Fred Oyesigye says the council recommends that the health workers register before action is taken.

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