Cancer institute, health ministry battle over Chinese radiotherapy bunker

radiotherapyThe Uganda Cancer Institute has attributed delayed purchase and construction of the radiotherapy bunker to the ideological controversies between the Institute and the Ministry of Health.

According to the Director of Uganda Cancer institute, Dr. Jackson Orem, the disagreement between the institute and the ministry of Health arouse when the two entities failed to agree on who to be contracted to replace the radiotherapy machine that broke down months ago.

He disclosed this during the assessment tour by the health committee of parliament.

While the Uganda Cancer Institute opted to contract International Atomic Energy Agency to replace the radiotherapy machine for quality, this did not go well with ministry of Health that wanted to contract China claiming it was cheaper.

The controversies involving the two entities were stirred after Uganda Cancer Institute refused to adhere to the ministry proposal of purchasing the new radiotherapy machine from China saying it was not of good quality [with the possibility of a fake one].

DR. Orem notified the health committee of parliament that UCI opted for International Atomic Energy Agency since it was the one that built the old radiotherapy machine that only broke down after 21 years.

He says that besides that it is only Atomic Energy that had a license to safely dispose of the old machine without causing radiation harm to the public.

The health committee of parliament led by the chairperson of the committee Dr. Micheal Bukenya was taken through a tour to the progressing new construction site of the radiotherapy banker and also to the old radiotherapy machine that broke down few months ago.

In their assessment, the committee commended the progress at the UCI and applauded UCI for taking an independent decision.mps-touring

“A team of Engineers from International Atomic Energy Agency are expected to arrive to the institute this week to assess the progress and finalize procedures of disposing off the old Machine and installing the new radiotherapy machine,” says Dr. Orem.

However, the committee discovered that some health workers at the Uganda cancer institute have taken advantage of the absence of the machine to extort money from desperate patients.

This was disclosed to the committee by some patients who preferred anonymity.

The committee has tasked the institute to stop extorting money from patients or else they face the law.

They have also tasked UCI to set up guidelines that guide the patients on what services to be paid for.


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