Following pictures of a patient on oxygen support brought to bank to make a transaction to pay bills he owed the hospital went viral on social media, family members have come out to express their displeasure over how their patient Mr. Mwanje John was humiliated by management of the Hospital in the process.
Sabasabaupdates has published a full statement made by the family in regard to what happened, and this statement has been shared to the Bank of Uganda, Uganda Rights Commission and Centre for Human Rights and Development (CEHURD).
The full story; As narrated by Family Members.
Three Weeks ago, Mr. Mwanje John got a heart attack and was admitted at Norvick Hospital where he was given proper treatment and care, unfortunately before being admitted to ICU, he had given his ATM to his son to get some money, and it was retained by the machine then later blocked.
Norvick hospital without asking for any deposit continued to give its whole support to Mr. Mwanje the patient for the following two weeks until they confirmed that he was now out of danger. However, his breathing failed to stabilize as he had to be on oxygen support all the time, Norvick Hospital then referred the patient to Nakasero hospital to see a pulmonologist to examine his lungs, at the time of the referral, we can gladly say that Mr.Mwanje the patient was feeling much better as he could talk to his family members but his fingers were still paralyzed and he could hardly sign, it was at this time that Equity bank was contacted under the patients instructions to come and examine the patient and release his money to an agreed account suggested by the patient so as to also help clear the accumulated Norvick bill and move the patient to Nakasero Hospital.
The team nominated by the patient arrived at Wandegeya Branch at about 10AM in the morning of Saturday the 10thAugust 2019 to open an account but also inform the branch of the patients request.
Two staff from Wandegeya branch were sent by the bank to visit the patient and confirm the patients state of mind and request and this was done in front of the family members as well as recording.
This however, did not yield any results as the operations manager at the branch told us that his bosses at head office did not support the transaction.
We made over 18 phone calls and discussions with some senior staff at head office for support but it did not yield any results.
We suggested to have at least only the medical bills settled direct in to Norvick account but this was not also accepted.
At this point it was already 6pm almost time for closing the bank that the operations manager at Wandegeya advised us to have the patient moved to the banking hall for the transaction to happen.
We notified the senior staff we were engaging from head office of the advice and we were advised to proceed as that was now the only way we could help our patient.
It is therefore, very unfair for Equity Bank to come out and say they were still finding a solution for the patient.
The “No” came to us very clear and we were as well shown the email from the staff at head office who declined the transaction.
Equity bank did not show any care and support to the patient and we keep wondering why they had to send two officers to the hospital.
While we appreciate that they are guidelines on how to withdraw money off some one’s account, there are also exceptional situations and this was not the first time a bank helped their patient who was sick.
We are not sure what their intentions were but at least what we are sure about is they were not willing to help and for policy and laws they would rather have had the patient die.
The executive director later this week visited family and we shared our views and concerns. We were however surprised of the statement that they released on social media. Equity Bank advised us to have the patient moved to the banking hall for service and not ourselves as no one would want their patient go through that humiliation.
After the Executive Director acknowledging that the bank could have done something better, which is also on record we requested that equity bank takes full responsibility of the entire mess as they had all it took to help the patient.
In summary we are very disappointed with Equity bank for it did not only humiliate our Dad but also responsible for the detoriating of his health.
The facts are as follows:
- Equity bank got full reports of how the patient was doing including recording the patient of instructing them to carry out the transaction.
- Several attempts by branch staff and our representatives at Wandegeya branch engaged senior staff at head office but it did not help.
- Advice to move the patient was from Equity Bank which is also on record.
- There is no one from family who was advised that the bank was looking for a solution as if this had happened we would have waited.
- We sat at the branch from 10am in the morning to almost 6:30 when the transaction was done.
- The arrangement to have the patient brought was also communicated to the branch and arrangements were made before the patient got to the banking hall.
Our patient was traumatized by Equity Bank and got worse. He is now in ICU and bills keep accumulating.