University Teaching Hospital (UTH) management has disclosed that over K80 million per month is spent on the purchase of new hospital beddings due of high levels of pilferage at the institution.
UTH Managing Director Lackson Kasonka said the hospital has continued to experience pilfering by staff and patients resulting in millions of kwacha being spent to replace bed sheets and blankets for patients’ use.
He was reacting to public complaints over inadequate beddings at the institution forcing patients to sleep on uncovered mattresses.
“A lot of linen is stolen through the mortuary, we lose a lot of beddings which are like disposable laundry, and especially the new linen which I believe is pilfered by our members of staff, and I can not rule that out, am not accusing anybody but am sure it happens. A lot of linen is stolen especially through the mortuary, by families and staff alike,” Dr Kasonka explained.
He explained that the hospital had a system of returning used linen to the wards which he explained was not happening, and could mean the staff were involved in the loss at that level.
He said with the turn over of 1,637 beds, the hospital sometimes experienced shortages in beddings because of operational challenges in the laundry department such as machine break downs and bad weather as well as power failure which affects output from the cleaners.
Dr Kasonka however lamented the attitude by some patients who intentionally steal beddings and take them home upon discharge which automatically reduces stocks and affects distribution.
“When (patients) are being discharged they harvest the beddings and carry them home, but as management we try and make this hospital habitable by continuous purchase of bed sheets and blankets just to provide that excellent healthcare service to the people,” he said.
There have been several public complaints about UTH and the insufficient beddings which had forced some patients to use their own bed sheets and blankets while receiving treatment at the hospital.
And Dr Kasonka has pledged continued efforts in providing excellent healthcare service for the members of the public at the institution.