Ugandans are all smiles up after the Uganda Police Force (UPF) scrapped off postmortem and medical examinations fees for survivors of sexual and gender based crimes.
This was contained in a communication by Director Police Health Services Moses Byaruhanga released on January 3rd, 2018. The communication was carried in a notice addressed to District Police Commanders, Regional Police Commanders and the Inspector General of Police- IGP Gen. Kale Kayihura.
"No Police surgeon or medical officers should again charge members of the public fees for conducting postmortem and medical examinations on survivors of sexual crimes," reads he notice.
Aswa River Region Police Spokesperson, Patrick Jimmy Okema, says the directive effectively stops medical officers and police surgeons from charging members of the public for postmortem and medical examinations.
Okema explains that all postmortems should be conducted free of charge after the Justice, Law and Order Sector (JLOS) disbursed funds to the force for financing various operations.
He adds that in Gulu district, medics at Gulu University teaching Hospital and the government referral hospital are often requested to step in for the only police surgeon who serves the region to conduct postmortem operations on sudden or suspicious cases of death.
According to Okema, the health workers charge fees, which many families are unable to afford. He says some families have therefore been forced to take their relatives away from Police without postmortem being done citing exorbitant fees.
This he says has forced police to seek court orders to exhume remains for postmortem at later dates due to emerging complaints from other family members