By Mulengera Reporters
The Ministry of Health has said that Enrica Pinetti, the Lubowa International Specialized Hospital proprietor is not on-site, despite Government injecting 667 Billion Shillings in the project.
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This was disclosed by Engineer George Otim, an Acting Commissioner in charge of Infrastructure under the Ministry of Health while appearing before Parliament’s Health Committee to defend the 2022/2023 ministerial policy statement on Tuesday.
In March 2019, Parliament approved the request by the Ministry of Finance to issue promissory notes for the construction of Lubowa Hospital to a tune of US$ 379.71m approximately Shillings 1.393 trillion.
In the 2021/2022 Financial Year, the Accountant General had revealed that the developer had earlier been given 348.212 Billion Shillings bringing the total to 667.765 Billion Shillings.
At the time, Pinetti promised to construct the hospital in two years, and later manage the hospital for six years before the hospital reverts to the Government. But three years down the road, there is no progress.
Eng Otim revealed that the developer doesn’t have a contractor on the 32 hectares of land located in Lubowa, Wakiso district, adding that they are in the process of procuring another contractor to implement the work.
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Eng Otim who doubles as Project Manager for the Lubowa project at the Ministry of Finance however blamed the failure to supervise the works on the Government who failed to allocate funds for the project.
Sharon Laker Laker, the Gulu District Woman Representative described as excuses the reasons being given by the Government for the delay of Lubowa specialized hospital. She was among lawmakers who were blocked from accessing the facility during an oversight visit.
Earlier, both the Finance and Health Ministries defended the slow pace of the project blaming bad weather and the impact of Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. But Charles Ayume, the Committee Chairperson who is also the Koboko Municipality MP rejected the claims.
Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health informed the Committee that Government agreed to have the supervision of the construction of Lubowa Specialized Hospital be under the Office of the Prime Minister and also agreed on extending the time for the construction works up to June 2024.
In its proposal, Government said the facility would be constructed and would be divided into four zones including; clinical, education, recreation, and housing zones. The facility would help save the government from the burden of medical tourism by treating officials overseas.
The hospital was meant to have 54 Oncology beds, 27 infectious disease beds, 27 medical beds, 16 VIP beds, eight ICU beds, as well as 60 outpatient beds, 54 surgery beds, 27 pediatrics beds, 27 OBGYN beds, 16 intensive Care, 8 neo-natal ICU beds and 11 operating theatres-URN. (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us email@example.com).