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Gov’t To Borrow Shs248bn For Construction Of Heart Institute

Government through the Ministry  of Finance, Planning and Economic Development is seeking to borrow US$70Million (about Shs248.2bn)for the construction and equipment of Uganda Heart Institute. 

Details about Government’s move are contained on the order paper for Tuesday’s plenary sitting where the Ministry of Finance will formally tabled before Parliament the motion.

According to the order paper, the proposal to borrow will target three international agencies including US$ 20.0m from the Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA); another US$30 Million from the Saudi Fund for Development (SDF); and US$20 Million from the Opec Fund for International Development (OPEC Fund) and the money would go towards the construction and equipping of the Uganda Heart Institute project.

The loan request comes at the time Auditor General, John Muwanga in his December 2020 report to Parliament raised concern about the project for the construction of the Heart Institute which is still being housed at Mulago National Referral Hospital.

Muwanga pointed out that although the Land Commission received a presidential directive to allocate Uganda Heart Institute 10 acres of land in Nakawa Naguru to facilitate the setting up of a Cardiac Centre of Excellence with a 250 bed hospital, there were encumbrances on part of the allocated land which resulted in the loss of 3 acres after consensual withdrawal of a law suit.

The Audit team also revealed that whereas the total contract sum of Shs3.5bn had been paid out for the renovation of the Intensive Care Unit on Block 1C, the works remained incomplete at the time of writing this report. 

The Auditor General also raised concern about the human resource gaps at Uganda Heart Institute, revealing that out of the approved structure of 189, only 160 positions were filled leaving 29 staff positions vacant.

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