On Sunday September 8, Dorothy Faith Atim, a victim of an acid attack lay helplessly in the female surgical ward in Soroti Referral Hospital from 5:30 a.m. up to 5:00 p.m. as her relatives desperately looked for an ambulance from the nearby districts to transport her to Mulago.
She was only saved and rushed to Mulago National Referral hospital after an ambulance from Kumi district dropped off a patient at Soroti Regional Hospital.
This is not a bolt from the blue to patients and doctors at Soroti regional referral hospital which has only one ambulance.
The hospital had two ambulances, but one of them broke down two years ago and has never been repaired. Someone can easily wonder why such a facility is not given priority.
“How is referral hospital expected to function without a standby ambulance for emergencies,” wondered John Omwatum, a resident of Soroti Municipality
Susan Atai, an attendant to a patient in the female surgical ward is disappointed with the poor response of Soroti regional hospital to emergencies. She said that something needs to be done to save the situation.
“The ambulance has been written off because it is beyond repair, this has left the hospital with one ambulance,” said Thomson Obong, the Principle Administrator Soroti Regional hospital
He further said that they are faced with a challenge of handling patients referred to Mulago National Referral hospital because of transport problems.
On average, Soroti Regional Referral Hospital refers 10 patients to Mulago National Referral Hospital each month.
Daniel Okello, a cousin to the acid victim told the Red Pepper Online team, that they were stranded all day long until an ambulance from Kumi came by coincidence.
They approached the driver who accepted to rush Atim to Mulago National Referral Hospital on condition that they pay 450,000 shillings for fuel and his allowance.