Sad: Kasese teargas canister victim fails to clear medical bill, held in hospital

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Immaculate Masika, a resident of Kasese is stuck at Kilembe Mines Hospital in Kasese Municipality after failing to pay a medical bill of 1.246,000.  

Masika was admitted to the hospital on November 26, 2020, after she was hit by a teargas canister during a confrontation between supporters of then-presidential candidate Robert Kyagulanyi Sentamu and the police. Kyagulanyi was addressing a political rally in Kasese.

The 28-year-old recalls that she was buying refreshments at a shop near Kyakasanga playground when the clash broke out. She was subsequently admitted with serious injuries on both legs leading to the amputation of her toes.

Masika told a URN that when she was first brought to the hospital, a team of National Unity Platform members in Kasese District supported her with 500,000 Shillings promising to further foot her medical bill. However, she has not heard from them since that time, and she has failed to pay for the bills five weeks since her treatment was stopped.

Masika (in blue dress) has been in hospital since November last year photo by URN

Kilembe Mines hospital administrator Onesmus Kibaya informed URN that they received four patients from the same incident and three of them were discharged within a month. However, he says they expect the client to pay all the money before she can leave the premises. 

Kibaya says that his office will present the anomaly to the management team which in turn gives recommendations to a subcommittee of finance if the patient fails to pay the bills. The Committee would then submit a report to the hospital board for recommendations on the course of action.

Johnson Maso, a patient attendant at the facility says he has chosen to support Masika with food after realizing that she had no one attending to her. However, he says this is turning out to be difficult.

But Sam Baluku, one of the party mobilisers in Kasese told URN on Friday that the party secretariat sent 1.5 million Shillings to be shared with all the victims of the incident as part of their bill. He added that NUP district candidates mobilized additional resources for Masika, given her grave injuries, but they have taken the concern in order to mobilise additional support. 

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