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Man wheeled to Equity bank to transact money for medical bills dies

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

KAMPALA – Mr John Zabazungu a patient who was driven out of Intensive Care Unit (ICT) to Equity bank to withdraw money for medical bills has on Sunday, August 25 died.

On August 12, a photo of Mr Zabazungu being 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.

Equity bank management supposedly suspected the attempt by the patient’s children which prompted them to seek for much clear evidence of their client’s sickness and vulnerability before they could allow any transactions on his account.

In a press conference addressed by the family, the incident worsened the patients’ situation as he developed pneumonia.

“It led him to develop pneumonia and he was admitted in intensive care unit and we have never seen him again, yet his health had improved greatly,” his son Benjamin said. The family did not provide details when asked what exactly their father had been suffering from when he was admitted to the hospital.

According to Ms Molly Nakato one of his daughters Mr Zabazungu died on Sunday afternoon at Mulago Specialised Women and Neonatal Hospital where he had been transferred for further management.

“We had been recommended to see a specialist there (Mulago Specialised Women and Neonatal Hospital) to work on his throat before he passed on,” Ms Nakato told Daily Monitor in a phone interview.

She further said that the late Zabazungu is expected to be buried in Mukono on Tuesday and his vigil has been organised at his family home in Kyebando Kisalosalo in Kawempe division, a Kampala suburb.

The Minister of Health Jane Aceng while appearing before the Parliamentary National Economy Committee on Wednesday August 21 castigated the family of attempting to defraud the patient.

Ms 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.

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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