KAMPALA. A 28-year-old woman has been confined to Rubaga Hospital together with her two-month-old baby over failure to clear hospital bills worth Shs1.45 million.
Ms Restidia Tumushabe walked to the hospital on May 13 after two days of labour pains. Because she had delayed to seek medical assistance, doctors recommended an emergency caesarian section to deliver her of the baby.
The operation was successful but Ms Tumushabe and her husband, Mr Alex Tugume, a businessman, say they have since failed to pay the bill.
The initial bill was Shs1.38m and has since shot up due to extra charges accrued from occupying the hospital bed.
Ms Tumushabe says the hospital has for the last two months refused to discharge them not until they clear the bill.
“We tried to plead with them so that we can go back home and pay the bill in bits but they insisted that we stay until we get the money,” she said at the hospital’s postnatal ward yesterday.
The couple, which rents in Namungoona, a Kampala suburb, says they have tried to raise the money in vain and are now seeking financial help from well-wishers.
“We tried to talk to the hospital [administration] but they insisted that we should at least bring our land title, which we do not have. My husband even wanted to leave them with his national Identity card [as security] but they refused,” the mother of two and housewife said.
Mr Tugume said although he is in the process of signing an agreement with the hospital to discharge them so that they pay the money in installments within three months, he is doubtful whether he will still be able to raise it in the given time.
“My business is failing…. I am afraid they may arrest me when I fail to raise the money,” he said.
However, Mr Deus Taremwa, the hospital senior accountant, said the couple has not been cooperative, especially Mr Tugume, whom he said was often rude whenever they tried to talk to him. “This is a private hospital, so you come knowing you are supposed to pay….the problem is that the one supposed to be the husband refused to surface and became abusive,” he stated.