Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital has shut down all departments to focus on coronavirus patients. This comes a few days after the hospital scaled down its operations last week to create more space for COVID-19 patients.
However, on Monday, Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital shut down all outpatient departments and in patient services to focus on managing suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases. With a capacity of 200 beds, the hospital has so far earmarked 21 beds for confirmed cases and 40 beds for suspects.
Dr. Moses Muwanga, the Director Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital, says the hospital was increasingly becoming unsafe and there was a need to shut down all other services and deploy health workers from other departments to support those already managing COVID-19 cases.
50 health workers have since joined 20 staffs who have been manning the isolation unit. However, the decision hasn’t gone down well with some residents. Steven Kankya and Irene Nambalirwa, both residents of Entebbe, say management should have left at least one wing for the general public because private health facilities charge exorbitant fees.
They say laboratory tests for malaria, typhoid, blood count, HIV are free at the hospital but private facilities between Shillings 5000 and 6000 for the same services.
At St Mary’s Medical Services, an expecting woman pays on average Shillings 100,000 for antenatal and tests for urine, blood group, ultrasound scan among others compared to only Shillings 10,000 they pay at the hospital.
Dental, maternity and post natal care costs are cheaper at the hospital. Entebbe Regional Referral Hospital serves a population of about 1 million from Entebbe, Katabi town council and island districts of Kalangala and Buvuma among others.