UGANDA, Kampala | Real Muloodi News | Part of the 10 acres of land that was allocated to the Uganda Heart Institute at the Naguru-Nakawa Housing Estate has been occupied by squatters, according to the Executive Director of the Uganda Cancer Institute, Dr John Omagino.
In October 2020, President Museveni directed the Uganda Land Commission chairperson, Hon. Beatrice Nyakaisiki, to allocate 10 acres of Nakawa-Naguru land to Uganda Heart Institute.
According to the president’s letter dated 14th October 2020, the 10 acres would be used by the Uganda Heart Institute to set up a cardiac centre of excellence with a 250-bed capacity hospital.
When the commission rejected the application of the Uganda Heart Institute, the president wondered why the commission would not see the need for such a facility to be set up, which would save the country a lot of money.
“The minister of health has informed me about the need for land by the Uganda Heart Institute. They intend to set up a Cardiac Centre of Excellence which will have a 250-bed hospital,” reads part of Museveni’s letter.
The president added, “I am informed that Uganda Heart Institute had earlier applied for part of Nakawa Naguru land but with no success. One wonders why the commission could not see the need for such a specialised medical facility which would save Uganda from seeking for expensive treatment abroad.”
Uganda Heart Institute is one of the many Naguru-Nakawa land allocation applicants.
Dr John Omagino showed the Members of Parliament on the National Committee of Parliament where they plan to construct a USh260 billion heart hospital.
“We thought the issue was settled with the recent redistributing of the land but that was not the case. We have two squatters who we believe are part of the OPEC group who have cordoned off part of the land,” Dr Omagino said.
He also added that while the 1.5 acres of land the squatters are occupying does not stop the project from starting, they will need it for road construction.
“The land will not stop our construction. We can now start construction with what we have now, 85% of the land. The affected part will have roads, and we can now start constructing. What we need is for the loan to be accepted by the parliament,” he explained.
The chairperson of the committee, John Bosco Ikojo, who is also the Member of Parliament for Bukedea District, says that they will invite the Uganda Land Commission to look into the matter.
The total estimated cost for the completion of the hospital is USh267 billion. Once it is completed, the country will save USD75 million annually, which is currently spent on referring around 5,000 patients abroad for various heart complications treatment.
Dr Omangino also adds that the facility will make it possible for medical professionals to carry out life-saving surgeries at a cheaper cost of USD5,000 compared to USD20,000, which is spent on average by each referred patient abroad.
There is hope that the centre will attract patients from neighbouring African countries, which will develop research capabilities within the region.
The government has provided USD5 million towards the project, and the funds have already been used to carry out surveying and fencing of the land, plus paying for the artistic impressions.
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