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Former Mulago Executive Director on the Spot Over Shs206m

By Melanie Aanyu,

Members of Parliament want the former executive director, Mulago hospital, Dr. Byarugaba Baterana to explain what befell Shs 206 million meant for allowances for medical interns and senior health officers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Government remitted Shs 3.8 billion for allowances for intern doctors and senior health workers during the Covid-19 outbreak in the 2020/2021 financial year.

MPs on the Committee of Public Accounts however, learnt that out of the Shs3.8 billion, Shs206 million meant for allowances of medical officers was instead spent on contact tracing, sample collection, case management and surveillance for Covid-19.

Committee chairperson, Medard Sseggona asked the former ED whether contact tracing or case management were part of the job description of medical interns and the health workers.

He also asked Mulago Hospital management to produce bank statements, names and contacts of the beneficiaries of the funds adding that previous inquiries into such diversions were marred by fraudulent expenditures.

He also directed the hospital’s management to provide a letter from the ministry of Finance allowing them to divert the funds.

Mary Begumisa, Woman MP Sembabule said there was need to ascertain if the funds were used for contact tracing, case management and surveillance for Covid-19 as alleged by management.

Tororo District Woman MP, Sarah Opendi wondered if the money for medical interns and health workers was part of the reported Covid-19 relief funds unlawfully spent.

Byarugaba who fell short of justifying the diversion said that the money was spent on staff who supported contact tracing, case management and surveillance during the Covid-19 pandemic outbreak.