Masindi. Masindi hospital is being given a facelift a week after police blocked two Opposition presidential candidates from accessing the facility.
Last week, police blocked independent presidential candidate Amama Mbabazi and the FDC presidential candidate, Dr Kizza Besigye, from accessing the hospital, which was constructed in 1926.
Most of the buildings at the hospital are dilapidated and require renovation.
However, on Tuesday, authorities at the district launched a Shs600 million renovation plan to complete work within two months.
The Masindi District chief administrative officer, Mr Gabriel Atama, said buildings to be renovated include the male ward, maternity ward, theatre, administration block, drug store, isolation ward and the out-patients department (OPD).
The work has started with putting a new roof over the male ward. Patients have been transferred temporarily to the children’s ward.
Mr Atama, however, said due to financial constraints, they will first work on the male ward, maternity ward and the theatre as they wait for major renovations, which will see the entire hospital given a new look.
“The contractors have been selected deliberately through a very structured process. We have confidence in them and we have hope they will not less us down,” Mr Atama said.
The Masindi District vice chairperson, Mr Kanaginagi Ateenyi, said the hospital was planned to have only 100 beds but because of the increasing population, there is need to expand it to accommodate 350 beds.
“As you are well aware, there has been a very big public outcry about the bad shape of this hospital. I am not ashamed to say that some of the opponents of the NRM government have gained political capital out of this state of the hospital,” he said.
The hospital superintendent, Dr George Bateganya, said much as the buildings at the hospital are going to shine, services must also shine.
“According to the information I have from the Ministry of Health, this is simply face-lifting. Major rehabilitation is coming soon,” he said.