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Parliament committee to visit Lubowa hospital site

FILE PHOTO: Lubowa hospital

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Parliament Committee on National Economy has written to the Ministry of Health seeking clearance to visit International Specialized Hospital site in Lubowa.

According to Committee chair Sydan Bbumba, they wrote to the Ministry of Health seeking clearance to visit the place along Entebbe road to ascertain the status of the work going on, but also to see who is managing the site.

Parliament early this year approved a 379 million dollar loan guarantee to a Special Purpose Vehicle (SPV) Finasi/ROKO to construct the 264-bed facility to be operated as a world-class internationally accredited facility.

However the process of the construction of the facility has been marred with controversies as ROKO construction limited accuses Finasi international FZC of unfairly edging them out of the venture in favor of Power China Guizhou Engineering Co, Ltd.

According to Finasi, Power China is already on the ground and the work ongoing has exceeded the schedule. However MPs are concerned that even before the Ministry of Health approves Power China, there already on site, and yet ROKO blocked their eviction in court.

Now the Parliament committee says they are going to the site on Tuesday to look at what is on ground and who is in charge. According to Syda Bbumba they will head to the field after getting clearance from the Ministry of Health.

She says their major reason for going there is to look at the progress of works, as Government says the work is beyond schedule.

“They say the work has gone way beyond schedule and that this ongoing court conflict does not affect the construction. As a committee we want to ascertain this and also interact with the people on ground, ” said Bbumba.

She also added that they will be seeking help from the Office of the Prime Minister to call for a meeting of all Ministries, from Health, Finance and Works to discuss the contentious issue surrounding the Lubowa hospital construction.

Asked whether they will be meeting Finasi, which is the majority shareholder in the SPV, Bbumba says she does not know, as the last time they wrote a letter asking them to appear before the committee they cited contempt of court.

Soroti Municipality MP Herbert Ariko says as a committee they are interested in finding out what is really on the site, and whether the project is on course. The Lubowa hospital will treat conditions for which Ugandans have been traveling abroad. These include; cancer treatment, heart diseases, organ transplant, fertility treatment, highly specialized surgeries, and bone marrow transplant among others.

According to the breakdown of the money, the purchase, delivery and installation of medical equipment, hospital furniture, testing, commissioning and training will cost 370 billion Shillings, civil works excluding mobilization costs will cost 320 billion Shillings, medicines and consumables for a year are budgeted at 62 billion Shillings and preliminary project development is 50 billion Shillings.

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