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I have heard a lot about the suffering people go through at the National Referral Hospital, Mulago: congestion, paid parking slots, rude workers, corruption, the filth, etc.

Recently, I experienced this first hand. My mother who is in her 60s was admitted to Mulago and I went to attend to her. We were ushered into a room which only hard old boxes, and the nurse assured me how lucky I was to get a ‘bed’.

Days rolled; the doctor kept on requesting for a number of tests to be done- all at a fee. The final verdict finally came and the doctor told me my mum was due for operation, that she had goitre. He referred us to another doctor for the operation. I called the doctor and she said Mulago did not have the facilities needed for the operation.

This same doctor told me to raise a minimum of Shs3 million to book a theatre in another hospital where she will perform the operation from. To date, I am speechless how the national referral hospital cannot do an operation other small hospitals around town can handle. As I work round the clock to raise the money for this operation, I keep wondering and asking myself what is really free at Mulago apart from the toilets.

Kiyingi Bbosa,
Student Makerere University


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