PATIENTS admitted at Mulago Referral Hospital with spinal injuries have abandoned their ward, demonstrating against lack medical attention. Business at the hospital came to a standstill as patients relocated their beds to the verandah, while some blocked the entrance to the ward. One of the patients, who preferred anonymity, said he had spent six months at the hospital where he was referred for an operation but nothing had been done about his condition. Another woman claimed that her husband had died due to negligence. My husband sustained injuries in a motor accident and we were admitted here for four months. His body had begun rotting. Doctors recommended an operation, but nothing was done, she said. The acting deputy executive director, Baterana Byarugaba, told journalists that the hospital did not have enough anesthesiologists. An anethesist is a doctor who puts patients to sleep before an operation is carried out. They also monitor the patients breathing. The standoff drew crowds including the medical staff and administrators who resolved to rush urgent cases to the theatre. Details of the patients who underwent surgery were not readily available. According to Byarugaba, Mulago has seven anesthesiatic experts out of the 40 required. Three of the seven are attached to Makerere University Medical School, he explained. The rest of the staff are diploma holders and cannot handle the overwhelming number of patients. Because of the specialised services we offer in an attempt to achieve our mandate, mission and vision, the hospital requires a lot of manpower, Byarugaba said.