By Vicky Wandawa
The National main Referral Hospital, Mulago will not close its doors to patients come April, when renovations start.
“We cannot stop patients from accessing services here because it will surely cause a crisis. We shall not be renovating the entire structure at the same time. We are not changing the structure of the building; we are working on painting, drainage and expansion,” the hospital spokesperson Enock Kusasira clarified.
He explained that there will only be internal shifts. “If renovation is taking place in the private out-patients section, the patients will be in position to access services from another part of the hospital, since the hospital is very spacious,” he said.
The hospital will be also be fitted with specialized health equipment, such as equipping the intensive care unit, accessing high tech mammography machines and MRI scans among other diagnostic equipment.
He added that apart from renovation and re-equipment, the hospital’s management is after decongestion. Consequently, renovation is also going on at the neighboring sub-referrals such as Kawempe, Kidudu in Makindye and Naguru hospitals among others.
“We want to make the hospital super specialized meaning that after the renovations, we shall attend to only serious referred cases, not simple ailments like stomach upsets. Currently, we are working like a health center four, taking on simple ailments,” said Kusasira.
The repairs will take two years and are part of Government reforms to improve health services in the country, in which all major hospitals will be renovated.
The renovations are being funded by $73m that the government borrowed from the African Development Bank and the Nigerian Trust Fund for the construction of the hospitals. The project is also partly funded by the World Bank.
Mulago Hospital is the biggest and oldest medical facility in Uganda. It was established in 1913 by Sir Albert Cook and currently accommodates 1,500 in-patients.