UGX38 billion holds Mulago from re-opening
Mulago hospital is unlikely to re-open soon because of a huge funding gap estimated at UGX 38 billion that is needed to complete the renovation works three years ago, the Executive Director has revealed.
Initially planned to last 3 years at a cost of US$35 million, the renovation and upgrading of the national hospital into a specialized facility has been beset by setbacks , completion plans were prolonged
The Executive Director of Mulago Hospital Dr. Byarugaba Baterana said however that over 90% of the project is done save for the delays and additional modifications in the original plan, that have led to an increase in the cost from US$35m to US$38m.
If the government can release the money for the works today, Baterana says, the hospital will be ready to open its doors to the public in five months.
“38 billion shillings is needed for final completion and in the areas we have window modifications sub tanks road network specialized finishes doors floor finishes theatre lights and pendants monitor panels solar water heating among other equipment” said Dr Baterana
“If we are given the money in only 5 months we shall be commissioning the hospital and make it free to use for the public added Dr Baterana
Dr David Niwamanya the project coordinator Mulago hospital said the hospital will carry out specialized surgery, organ transplant and other specialized cases had to initially cost a total of 35 million us dollars but as a result of delays, modifications and upgrades the cost hiked to 38 us million dollars
Upon completion the hospital will carry out surgeries, organ transplants, DNA testing modern mortuary. It will also comprise different units like an integrated modern security system that will comprises of bio data of workers and patients, a library, learning theatres, internet theatres, a national health museum, a central sterilizer, modern CT and MRI scanners among others
The hospital will employ 3075 staff where 1000 will be doctors from special units and different learning centres for health students.
The news of the outstanding funding gap is likely to raise eyebrows among members of the public about the government’s priorities. Only recently, the government presented a proposal to Parliament to ask for an approval to guarantee a private Italian investor to borrow a colossal US$ USD 379.7 Million to built what was dubbed as a specialized international hospital.