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Joint Clinical Research Centre Uganda to Set up a USD 120 Million Hospital

10-April-2012

Government, in partnership with a top Japanese medical group, is to put up an ultramodern hospital to offer advanced heart surgeries and kidney transplants.

The hospital, to be built at the Joint Clinical Research Centre (JCRC) complex in Lubowa, Wakiso district, will also provide cancer treatment, reconstructive surgery and life support systems among other complex medical services that are currently being sought abroad.

JCRC executive director Prof. Peter Mugyenyi said the project is a joint venture between Government and the Tokushukai Medical Group of Japan. .

The African Development Bank (ADB) and Tokushukai committed 70% funding towards the project which is estimated to cost over $120m (about sh306b).

“The project is progressing well,” Mugyenyi told New Vision yesterday. “Tokushukai officials and international health experts is here next week to verify the feasibility study and scope of work the hospital will undertake.”

With poorly equipped health centres and the best doctors leaving the country for greener pastures in other countries, rich businessmen and public officials have been traveling abroad for advanced treatment, while ordinary Ugandans die here.

Statistics from the ministry of health indicate that over $150m (about sh382b) is spent annually on Ugandans seeking treatment abroad.

Specialized cancer treatment, heart surgeries, and internal organ transplants are the common services Ugandans usually seek from India, South Africa and other developed countries.

Mugyenyi yesterday expressed hope that “JCRC's ultramodern hospital will fill the gap in the provision of medical care in Uganda and help patients who have been spending a lot of money on treatment abroad.”

The hospital project was initiated under a Memorandum of Understating signed in Tokyo by President Museveni and Dr. Torao Tokuda, the Tokushukai group chairman in 2003.

As a result, Mugyenyi said the hospital's architectural design and bills of quantities have been finalised. The hospital will have four floors, with the first phase covering 600 beds.

According to Mugyenyi, the hospital will have two wings, with one specifically dedicated to helping the poor whose conditions cannot be treated in the country yet they cannot afford the heavy costs involved in seeking treatment abroad.

Commissioning the new JCRC headquarters in November last year, President Yoweri Museveni expressed commitment for the Government to co-fund the construction of the hospital.

JCRC was established in 1990 to provide a scientific approach to the national HIV/AIDS challenge. It has the biggest reference laboratory in Uganda that is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to offer high quality diagnostic and monitoring tests that support the national Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART) programme.

The center has since grown from a small facility in Mengo, a Kampala suburb, to a sh12b headquarter complex, sitting on a 20-acre piece of land atop Lubowa Hill in Wakiso, along Entebbe Road.

Museveni said the hospital, if completed, will eliminate “medical tourism” and save over $150m (about sh382b) spent annually on Ugandans seeking treatment abroad, especially in India and South Africa.

He commended the JCRC team for hard work and honesty, saying they had developed his vision of enhancing scientific research for better care and treatment of HIV/AIDS in the country and globally.

The New Vision Newspaper

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