Hospital Storekeeper Detained Over Missing ICU Equipment

Hospital Storekeeper Detained Over Missing ICU Equipment


Mr. Robert Vupale, the storekeeper in charge at Gulu Regional Referral Hospital, has been detained following the inability of hospital management to account for missing ICU equipment. The equipment was initially provided by the government and the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Committee chairperson Mr. Abed Bwanika stated, “We ensured Mr. Vupale was arrested and made a statement. We also directed the police that the hospital’s director should provide a statement, followed by an investigation.”

During a visit to Gulu Regional Referral Hospital last Friday, the committee, through interactions with staff and patient attendants, discovered that some ICU equipment was missing. Mr. Bwanika expressed concern, saying, “The hospital management and doctors had no answers regarding the missing equipment. It is very disturbing because these items are expensive and funded by taxpayers’ money and friendly countries.”

Mr. Vupale has been handed over to the police for further questioning as efforts are underway to recover the missing equipment promptly.

The committee’s visit to Gulu District and Gulu City aimed to oversee the performance of health units and the equipment supplied to the hospital’s ICU. Mr. Bwanika revealed that the committee found the ICU equipment dismantled without the Ministry of Health’s consent, with some parts unaccounted for.

“We discovered that the ICU equipment was dismantled and some parts are missing, which is very disturbing. Unfortunately, the director is currently not here, but he will make a statement to the police upon his return. We will conduct a thorough investigation into this matter,” Mr. Bwanika said.

It was established that parts of the ICU equipment were reallocated to other departments post-Covid-19. Ms. Christine Aciro, the officer in charge of the ICU unit, explained that the hospital received 10 ICU units from the government and JICA donations. Currently, only six ICU units are operational, with four in use due to space limitations. Two ICU units are in the store awaiting repairs.

“The former senior management decided to support other units with parts of the ICU equipment after the Covid-19 pandemic, including monitors and other components, due to the inadequacy at the hospital,” Ms. Aciro said.

Committee member Joyce Bagala criticized the decision to dismantle ICU equipment without consulting the Ministry of Health. “The hospital should have sought guidance from the Ministry of Health before dismantling the ICU equipment, which is very expensive,” she said.

The committee’s actions and the ongoing investigation aim to ensure accountability and proper management of vital medical equipment, ultimately enhancing the hospital’s ability to provide critical care.

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