The National Water and Sewerage Corporation (NWSC) has issued a warning to the management of Masaka Regional Referral Hospital due to outstanding water bills.
The hospital has accumulated a debt of UGX 251 million over the past year, which exceeds its allocated budget for water expenses.
The hospital administrator, Mr. Charles Tumushime, expressed concern that if NWSC disconnects the water supply, certain departments may have to be closed.
He emphasized that patients cannot be denied access to water, and the hospital may be forced to limit services to reduce the number of patients.
Mr. Tumushime called on the Ministry of Health to increase the hospital’s utility budget to prevent water and power disconnections. Masaka Regional Referral Hospital serves an average of 1,800 outpatients and 360 admissions daily, including around 40 deliveries by expectant mothers.
In response, Mr. Samuel Apedel, the NWSC spokesperson, assured the hospital management that public health facilities would not be disconnected. He stated that the Ministry of Finance has promised to settle all outstanding arrears, alleviating concerns about disconnection.
In April, the hospital suspended free meals for most patients due to financial constraints caused by rising food prices. Currently, only specific categories of inpatients receive free meals, including those in psychiatric wards without caretakers and those brought in by the police.
Background: Masaka Regional Referral Hospital serves a population of over two million people from various districts. It was established as a treatment center for syphilis and was elevated to referral level in 1995.
The hospital is located on a major highway and often receives accident victims as its first point of call for emergency medical services.