MPs task ministry of Health on Lubowa hospital

The minister of Health, Jane Ruth has told MPs on the Committee on Health that one the major causes of delays in completion of the Lubowa specialised hospital is lack of a contractor.

Aceng told the committee that construction works were ongoing under the supervision of the Office of the Prime Minister.

"It is true that the project has stalled for a while for several reasons that we have worked out with the developer, the president, the office of the Attorney General and Office of the Prime Minister," she said

She explained that a steering committee was put in place to follow up on the construction and a group of local engineers has been identified to supervise the work.

The project engineer who is also the Assistant Commissioner, Civil and Sanitary Engineering at the Ministry of Health, George Otim however, said that only minimal works are going on and that no work was being done at the main hospital block.

"There is some ongoing work although minimal and at a slow pace by an internal team. The developer had challenges with finances and the contractor, Power China. As I speak, the developer does not have a contractor; they are in the process of procuring another contractor,” Otim said.

Otim said he was irked by the government's laxity on supervision of the project. He said currently he is the only engineer supervising the project on top of his other duties of assistant commissioner.

"I don’t stay at the site all the time, there is no supervisor to monitor the work on a day to day basis. I only go there when I have time," he said.

MPs said the Health Ministry owed Ugandans an explanation on the project which they said has failed.

They tasked the ministry to ensure there is visible progress by the end of the year.

Legislators explained that many people lose lives because of the high costs of seeking medical services abroad.

MPs said the reasons given by Aceng during the meeting were not convincing.

“When members went there, we found works at foundation level. We cannot blame the Covid-19 lock down. The National Medical Stores building in Kajjansi started at the same time and it is now complete. Probably the issues of Lubowa have to do with incompetence,” the committee chairperson, Dr. Charles Ayume said.

 

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