KAMPALA, Uganda: The case has taken long, five years to be precise, but justice seems to have finally been achieved, at least for the husband of the late Nakamya Florence.
The Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council has slapped a one-year suspension on Dr. Christopher Bingi for exhibiting negligence and failing to meet acceptable standards of professional practice.
Dr. Bingi, a postgraduate surgery student from Makerere University, and former staff attached to the Mukono Health Centre IV was in the spot in 2013 when he was accused of negligence that led to the death of 23 year- old Florence Nakamya.
The inquiry was conducted by UMDPC, in accordance with section 34 of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act, Cap 272, following an allegation of professional negligence filed by Center for Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) and Steven Mpanga against Dr. Christopher Bingi leading to the death of Nakamya Florence.
The complaint was lodged with the council on 25th October 2013 by Centre for Health, Human Rights and Development an NGO that offers free legal services in cases that impact on the health of persons particularly related to maternal health.
Facts of the case
The Investigator established from the filed complaints that Dr. Bingi exhibited professional negligence while handling Nakamya leading to death. He was also charged with abandonment of the patient under one’s care that was described as an inappropriate delegation of duties, coupled with professional incompetence.
Though the complaints also included touting, (taking over a patient from Mukono Health Center IV), the council ruled this out due to insufficient evidence.
According to Steven Mpanga, the husband to the deceased, a boda-boda rider, Nakamya was carrying her second pregnancy and used to attend antenatal visits at the Mukono Health Centre IV.
On the 19th October 2013, Nakamya developed labor-like pains and was rushed to the facility at 5 am. She was asked to collect the necessary requirements after examination. Around 10 am Nakamya called her husband saying she wasn’t able to undergo normal delivery and needed shs200,000 to undergo an operation.
However, shortly, Dr. Bingi who examined Nakamya told her that she would have a normal delivery at a half the cost (shs100,000) but from his private clinic. The Investigator established that Mpanga had only shs95,000 then that Dr. Bingi readily accepted.
Bingi then left behind his phone contacts that were used to trace and locate his clinic based in Nassuti, a suburb in Mukono, but when Nakamya reached the facility, he was not available and only came in when his nurse called him.
He arrived around midday and made assurances that Nakamya would deliver normally before he left the facility. Around 1.30pm the labor pains increased and when Dr. Bingi was called he said he would be coming. He arrived at the clinic at 7 pm when Nakamya had long passed on. He later took the lifeless body to Mukono Health Centre IV where they were chased and headed to Namirembe COU hospital. When they arrived Namirembe hospital, they were told Nakamya had died. Dr. Bingi later drove to his clinic to pick the referral letter but was arrested when he returned on orders of Mukono Municipality Legislator, Betty Namboze.
Nakamya’s body was then taken to Mulago hospital where the dead baby was removed.
Dr. Dickson Clife Wabwire the Medical Superintendent Church of Uganda Namirembe Hospital said he was called by a midwife on 19th October 2013 that there was a woman who died when delivering and they were seeking to have the baby removed. He said the patient reached their facility when already dead.
While delivering the judgment, the Medical Council observed that Dr. Bingi was a postgraduate student of surgery at Makerere University at the time. The council noted that the patient was admitted in an inappropriate facility run by a medical officer and nursing assistants
It emerged that the clinical notes were done by Dr. Bingi when he was released from police custody. He was also accused of delayed response and delayed referral, it still remains unclear where exactly the patient died from.
In its findings, the council ruled that Dr. Bingi exhibited negligence when he allowed a mother to be admitted in his clinic and to be attended to by unqualified staff. There was also a failure to meet acceptable standards of professional practice as there were no clinic records captured at the time when the patient was at the clinic.
Dr. Bingi left the patient under the care of the nurses and a nursing aide who were not competent enough to handle the mother and went out for leisure.
“Dr. Bingi Christopher is hereby suspended for a period of one year.” Ruled the council.
But this is not the end of the battle, the Investigator can reveal that CEHURD and Mpanga are not yet done, they have filed a case with the High Court to prevail upon Dr. Bingi to compensate Mpanga for the loss of his wife.
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