The Executive Director, Uganda Heart Institute (UHI), John Omagino, has urged lawmakers to support a request of USD73 million for the proposed construction of the Institute in Naguru-Nakawa.
This was during the tour of the proposed site by the Committee on National Economy on Wednesday, 27 April 2022.
Omagino told MPs that the Institute was allocated 10 acres out of the 86 acres of the Naguru-Nakawa land.
“We have the land title and we are ready to start construction of the first phase on 1 July. Through counter funding, we have completed initial works which include opening of boundaries,” said Omagino.
He added that in two years, a flagship hospital will be ready and is expected to conduct 5,000 heart surgeries yearly.
“This facility will save costs of up to USD73 million per year which Government incurs in sending patients abroad. For each patient we send abroad, we spend USD15,000 and on top of that, we support those countries to build their capacities and improve their research,” Omagino said.
He also asked the Legislators to intervene in the ongoing land row, which he said has hindered the complete acquisition of the Institute’s land.
In 2007, Government signed a Public-Private Partnership Agreement with an investor, Opec Prime Properties, to redevelop the Naguru-Nakawa housing estates into two ultra-modern sustainable satellite towns.
However, this obligation was not met, prompting Cabinet in 2018 to terminate the contract and Uganda Land Commission (ULC) repossessed the land, awaiting reallocation to new developers.
“We have a few individuals who have refused to vacate the land, despite cancelation of their land titles by government. We have so far 85 percent possession of our 10 acres. We need to actualise this project with your support,” Omagino said.
The UHI is currently operating in Mulago Hospital and Omagino said that the space there does not give room for expansion.
“The space we have there is too small; it is only two acres,” said Omagino.
He added that efforts are underway to decentralise services of the Institute countrywide.
The Project Consultant, Patrick Rubongoya, said that the first phase of the construction is targeting 250 beds.
“We think in another 5 to 7 years, we shall bring these beds to 500 and another phase will grow these to 1,000,” said Rubongoya.
The Committee Chair, Hon. John Bosco Ikojo, said that MPs will raise their issues when the Institute presents their loan request to the committee in Parliament.
“Today is just a field visit. We have questions and they will be asked when you appear before the committee,” said Ikojo.