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Thursday, October 6, 2022

Uganda needs more specialized treatment facilities to sufficiently take care of its citizens

Parliament this week approved a 1.4 trillion loan to investor Finasi International for the construction of a specialized hospital in Lubowa, Kampala.

The loan will be forwarded in phases and the international consortium will run the hospital for ten years before handing over the hospital to government.

The approval was fiercely fought against by opposition members of parliament who accused the government of housing hidden intentions.

The same members of parliament are known to frequently request to receive medical attention abroad whenever they have illnesses.

Last year Mp Zaake Francis spent two months in India receiving specialized medical attention and so did MP Betty Bakireke who also spent a prolonged period for treatment of back injury, all on government money. Mp Robert Kyagulanyi also flew to USA for one month, sponsored by government to receive medical treatment for his back.

Government spends $73m annually on persons going abroad for specialized treatment. Mulago Hospital’s medical committee referred 225 patients to facilities in India between July 2014 and February 2018.

Most went abroad to receive treatment for cancer, to get kidney transplants or have heart surgery. Today, a basic kidney transplant in India costs about $25,000.

All these costs will be reduced and a lot of money will be saved since the new hospital will offer services for conditions such as cancer, kidney transplants, heart and brain surgery and other conditions requiring specialized treatment which is not in Uganda.

The International Specialized Hospital of Uganda will be a public, specialized, referral tertiary care medical facility will be the first of its kind in Uganda. The hospital is expected to take two years under construction. The construction will be undertaken by Roko Construction Limited.

It will have a 264-bed specialized Healthcare capacity, inclusive of an 80-bed oncology center, a doctors and Nurses school and accommodation, a 9MW power house and the proposed National Ambulance control center.

This will follow similar government projects such as the Mulago specialized maternity facility and the construction of various regional referral hospitals including the newly opened Kawolo hospital in Buikwe district.

The lead contractor Finasi Italy will receive the funding from global financial institutions. The hospital is expected to receive referrals from the African Great Lakes Region.

This development follows other initiatives by the government to cut costs from the treatment of government officials and individuals from abroad which is estimated to cost 10 million dollars a year.

This will also boost medical tourism in the country and hence act as foreign exchange earner.

Allegations that Finasi International is ill equipped for the job are baseless as the company has over the last forty years developed competency through innovation in the Healthcare field delivering state of the art facilities and providing solutions to clients.

As we speak, Finasi is a global turnkey provider for Healthcare facilities in the world.

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