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It was fraud! Minister says family of Equity bank customer, forced to go to the bank while on ‘drip’, planned to cheat him

Mr John Zabazungu, who was wheeled to withdraw cash on Oxygen support, at Equity Bank headquarters at Church House in Kampala on Monday. (PHOTO/Courtesy)

KAMPALA – Government has finally weighed into the recent fiasco when a patient was wheeled to the hospital wearing oxygen mask to Equity Bank headquarters, with the Minister of Health, Jane Aceng castigating the family of attempting to defraud the patient.

Recently, a photo of a man identified as John Zabazungu wheeled into Equity Bank headquarters while connected to nasal cannulas and oxygen face masks to withdraw cash made rounds on social media, raising concerns about the ethics of the banks after allegations that he had gone to pick cash to clear his medical bills.

While appearing before the Parliamentary National Economy Committee on Wednesday to update Parliament on the progress and utilization of funds of the different projects in the health sector whose funding were approved as loans, Aceng informed MPs that the relatives of the patient are at fault as they wanted to offload a big chunk of money from the bank but it refused to give them this money unless they see the person who is sick.

Dr. Jane Aceng, the Minister for Health appearing before the House. (PHOTO/File)

She said that after Norvik Hospital realizing they could not handle the patient, they chose to take him to Nakasero but instead of being taken to Nakasero directly, the family instead took the patient to the bank to convince the bank to offload the millions in US dollars that they wanted to withdraw.

The Minister said, “The relatives, friends and children saw that their father is very unlikely to survive and they wanted money from the bank. In fact, they wanted to offload a huge chunk from the patient’s account. They had been in communication with the bank giving them money but the bank said no unless we see the person who is sick.”

Minister Aceng revealed that when the negotiations started, the Bank questioned on whether the hospital wanted all the dollars the family was asking for and faulted the family for creating the mess.

“I have asked the family to clear the name of the hospitals. It’s not the hospitals that sent him to the bank,” said Aceng.

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