Foreigners receive free service at cancer institute, Parliament told

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Foreigners receive free service at cancer institute, Parliament told
Uganda Cancer Institute

The officials from the Uganda Cancer Institute have been put to task to explain why foreign patients at the institute are getting free services at the expense of Ugandan tax payers money.

This was after the Executive Director of the Uganda Cancer Institute Dr Jackson Orem told legislators on the Public Accounts Committee that 20 percent of the patients seeking medical services at the facility are foreigners.

The officials from Uganda Cancer Institute on Tuesday spent part of the day before the Public Accounts committee of Parliament to respond to queries raised in the Auditor General's report for the financial year 2022/2023.

The committee started by tasking them to explain the circumstances under which foreign patients are getting free services at the institute at the expense of the Ugandan taxpayers.

"How can you be spending the little resources that we have by providing free medical services to the foreigners seeking medical attention at the cancer institute?" MP Susan Amero asked.

"When we go out as Ugandans, we are required to pay even when we go to member states."

Dr Orem said it was the policy of government to have foreigners not to pay at the cancer institute, adding that Parliament could use its powers to change this policy.

The officials were also faulted on the equipment s that were procured in 2017 but still not installed in the year of review 2022/2023.

The machines that had not been installed include the Hawk taw, the laparoscopy, ultrasound machine, film prints, endoscopy and haematology analyser. But Orem told the officials the machines have since been installed.

Tasked on how much was spent on these machines, there response was differed.

"I need to check in the records and find out how much was spent on each of the procurement equipment. After getting the records I will forward to the committee, all the necessary documents," Orem said

The issue of the Shs570 million that was spent on workshop yet no funds had been provided and the Shs2.7bn that was spent without supporting documents generated a serious debate in the committee.

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