Members of Uganda Medical Association addressing the press

Medical practitioners under the umbrella of the Uganda Medical Association (UMA) are to petition President Yoweri Museveni and Parliament over the Shs1.4 trillion specialised hospital in Lubowa, saying the money should instead be given to Mulago National Referral Hospital.

Speaking to journalists from Mulago Guest House, the association president Dr Obuku Ekwaru said that priority should be given to local needs including refurbishing Mulago and the Uganda Heart Institute.

Dr. Obuku wondered why long term investors who have been operating in the country have not been aided in the past to better their investments.

In the petition they also want the government to come with a strategy of retaining and training specialists to deal with the issue of brain drain that continues to affect health service delivery.

The association members said that the facility will be owned by government, local specialists should be involved in the planning and set up of the facility that they say has had its price exaggerated.

Parliament last week approved a promissory loan worth Shs1.3 trillion to an Italian investor FINASI to build a specialised government hospital at Lubowa amidst stiff resistance from opposition legislators.

Government will facilitate the investor with the loan and upon completion, FINASI will own the facility for six years before giving it back to government.