The refurbishment of Masindi General Hospital hangs in balance

However, a year later, the refurbishment of the hospital hasn’t kicked off.

By Innocent Atuganyira

Masindi: Last year, the government earmarked 50 billion shillings to refurbish Masindi Hospital to address the challenge of inadequate space for patients. The money would also be used to purchase equipment.

This followed an assessment of the hospital done by Parliament’s Committee on Health, which recommended refurbishment and construction of new structures since the facility was in a poor state.

However, a year later, the refurbishment of the hospital hasn’t kicked off.

The Masindi district LCV Chairman, Cosmas Byaruhanga, says that they have been expecting funding from the government through the Ministry of Health starting this financial year about ten billion shillings for the Out-Patient Department and another ten billion shillings from the World Bank for the maternity and other wards, but they have not received any funding.

Byaruhanga asserted that when they approached the ministry of finance, they said they don’t have money yet, noting that they are now waiting for funding from the World Bank.

He added that they are now following up on the matter to ensure that funds are allocated towards the refurbishment of the hospital.

Byaruhanga disclosed that, due to inadequate space, they are admitting mothers on the floor and verandahs. Mothers who deliver are immediately discharged, even when they are not in fair condition due to the congestion at the hospital.

He, however, said that due to inadequate space, they decided to change the males’ ward into a maternity ward and divide the females’ ward into two to cater to both males and females.

The politician is therefore calling upon the government to look into the matter of Masindi General Hospital with the attention it deserves.

The Masindi district woman Member of Parliament, Dr. Florence Asiimwe, told this publication that the minister for finance, Matia Kasaija, disclosed that five billion shillings will be released this quarter as part of funds towards the refurbishment of the hospital.

According to George Otim, the commissioner for health infrastructure in the Ministry of Health, they completed the design of the new hospital and have already submitted it to all stakeholders in Masindi district and at the national level.

Otim said the refurbishment, construction of new structures, and buying new equipment at the hospital will cost 50 billion shillings, of which 32 billion will be for civil works and 18 billion will be for the procurement of equipment.

Among the new blocks to be constructed are the theater, staff quarters, administration block, pediatric ward, maternity ward, neonatal ward, outpatient department (OPD), and others.

The government awarded the contract to the Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) engineering brigade.

About the hospital

Masindi Hospital was constructed in the 1920s as a dispensary for Uganda Railways. By the time it was constructed, it was serving 50,000 people. It currently serves more than 500,000 people from Nakasongola, Kiryandongo, Buliisa, and Hoima districts.

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