By Martha Nakimuli
President Yoweri Museveni has said government will support Mulago hospital to directly procure urgently needed equipment to operationalise the newly installed multibillion Heart Operation theatre unit worth over Shs 10bn (US$ 4.5Million).
The President was on Saturday meeting officials from Mulago hospital led by the Minister of State For Primary Health Hon. Sarah Opendi, the Director general of Health Services Dr. J.R Achieng, the Executive Director of Mulago Hospital Dr. Byarugaba Baterana, the Executive Director Mulago Heart Institute Dr. John Omagino, the Head of Cardiac Surgery Dr. Peter Lwabi and a team from the Agha Khan Foundation led by Dr. Raj Jutley.
The unit that is fully equipped with a cardiac catherization unit has been installed with the personal support of President Museveni. If fully operational, it has the capacity to facilitate 1000 operation procedures per year which if referred abroad would cost the country in the excess of US$20million be year.
‘They should speed up the process of having the unit fully functioning. This will save a lot of lives and money. If you could also stop heart, brain and kidney treatments from abroad, we can save a lot of money,” he said.
The President also said he would look into the issue of the structure of the Ministry of Public Service to ensure that it accommodates special human resource requirements of specialized staff to work in the unit and also consider their terms to retain them.
The Director of the Heart Institute Dr. John Omagino hailed President Museveni for his support in installing the unit describing it as a gold mine for the country that will go a long way in improving the health of Ugandans and saving millings of dollars wasted on travel abroad for treatment.