The Uganda Cancer Institute at Mulago. Photo/kplu.org

Mulago, the only hospital with a fully-fledged cancer treatment centre in Uganda will get relief if government pushes through its pledge to have all referral hospitals in the country get cancer treatment centres.

Answering questions in Parliament during the ‘Ask the Prime Minister’ session yesterday, Prime Minister Ruhakana Rugunda said: “We have decided that all regional referral hospitals become cancer treatment centres.”

Currently there are two National Referral Hospitals, Mulago and Butabika, and 13 Regional Referral Hospitals including Arua, Fort Portal, Gulu, Hoima, Jinja, Kabale, Lira and Masaka. Others are Mbale, Mbarara, Moroto, Mubende and Soroti.

However, out of the 15 national and regional referral hospitals, it is only at Mulagos’ Uganda Cancer Institute (UCI) that patients can access proper cancer treatment.

In March this year cancer patients receiving radiotherapy treatment in Uganda were recently thrown into desperation when the cancer treatment machine at Mulago broke down, forcing government to seek alternative referral for patients at the Aga Khan hospital in Kenya.

Meanwhile, available information indicates that a new machine, the Cobalt 60, will be installed in a newly-constructed Shs100 billion bunker sometime next year.