Lira district suspends its health officer over poor conduct

Lira district suspends its health officer over poor conduct

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The District Health Officer (DHO) of Lira, Dr Patrick Buchan Ochen, has been interdicted to pave way for investigations into his conduct.

Lira Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) Ben Ogwette Otim, in a letter to Dr Ochen, dated August 24, 2020, said the DHO is accused of being absent from duty for two days without permission, not utilising the official government driver and using a government vehicle beyond the official hours.

The letter noted that Dr Ochen was once involved in an accident in the official car, which resulted in the death of a cyclist. The accident also left the vehicle damaged.

“Your misconduct involves absence from duty without permission, insubordination, acts against public interest, unauthorised use of government property, damage to government property and acts that bring the service into disrepute,” the CAO stated.

Quoting clauses from the Constitution, Public Service Commission Regulations and the Uganda Public Service Standing Orders, 2010, the CAO said the interdiction takes immediate effect, to pave way for further investigations.

Otim directed Dr Ochen to hand over office and not to leave the country without permission from him.

Otim also demanded that Dr Ochen defends himself within 14 days, failure of which he will be submitted to the District Service Commission for appropriate action.

The vehicle in question, a pickup truck registration number UG6691M, was recently donated to the Government by the The United Nations Children’s Fund.

The Resident District Commissioner, Milton Odongo, said he received a copy of the interdiction letter.

He said he directed security in Lira to liaise with their counterpart in Kiryandongo district, where the accident took place and report to him their findings.

Odongo said the absence of the vehicle has affected health service delivery and COVID-19 response in the community

DHOs warned

Health ministry permanent secretary Dr Diana Atwine urged DHOs to use district vehicles for the purposes they are meant for.

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