Government plans to guarantee $379 million (about Shs 1.3 trillion) to an investor for the construction of the hospital in Lubowa, Wakiso district through a promissory loan.
The investor Finasi International, a major member of the Finasi-RoKo consortium will construct the hospital, and the government will repay the money over time.
Now MPs sitting on the National Economy committee, want government to explain how the developer was selected and why government does not take lead in the construction and how the facility will be managed by the investor.
Busongora North MP William says that their major concern is that the proposal looks suspicious since the company did not go through any form of bidding process. He also says government plans to exempt the specialized hospital workers from paying tax.
Betty Nambooze, the Mukono County North MP demanded to know in whose interest is government constructing the hospital, yet national referral hospitals are grappling with limited finances.
David Bahati, the minister of Finance in charge of planning said that the proposal will help government construct the hospital and government will not be strained as they will pay it back as a loan over time.
He said this will ensure that the project does not create a liability on the side of government, but most importantly, the developer will accredit the hospital to international standards, recruit ably and put in place a world standard facility. Bahati, says the advantage is that government will rely on the $189m (about 694bn) it spends annually on treatment abroad to construct the facility.
"We’ll use the money we said we have, and have for the completion of the project. We shall issue these promissory needs at every stage of the completion of the works that we have agreed upon; and also the works we shall be certified by an engineer. So this is the arrangement, and this arrangement is comfortable for us, does not create a liability on us, it’s a multi-year commitment we’re using and we’re using it in many ways including the development of a government campus." said Bahati.
Government approved the construction of the hospital, to be operated as a world-class internationally accredited facility to treat conditions for which Ugandans have been traveling abroad. It will have a 264-bed specialized healthcare capacity, inclusive of an 80-bed oncology centre, doctors and nurses school and accommodation, a 9MW powerhouse and the proposed national ambulance control centre.
The government had however sought authorization of parliament to issue promissory notes of up to$379 million for the project designed as a public-private partnership following a proposal by the investor.
Construction of the hospital has delayed since 2014 due to challenges of land ownership and fund guarantees. In the agreement, the government is expected to take over the hospital after 10 years.
The company, Finasi has reportedly innovated and developed specific know-how in the healthcare field delivering state of the art facilities and providing solutions and added value services to its clients. Some of its projects are; Sharg Al Nile hospital in Khartoum, Famboni general hospital in Comoros among others.