An estimated 6,000 people could fail to get access to medical services if State House goes ahead with a planned takeover of Entebbe Grade A Hospital.
The hospital, which was built by the British colonialists in 1904, borders State House Entebbe gate. The government plans to turn the hospital into a health facility for State House staff and security personnel.
When contacted on Tuesday, the Presidential Press Secretary, Mr Tamale Mirundi, said he was not aware of the planned takeover of the hospital, adding that he contacted the State House comptroller who denied having knowledge on the development.
However, the Entebbe Resident District Commissioner, Ms Sarah Bananuka, confirmed the development. “Consultations are going on with Entebbe local leaders and Entebbe Hospital management to let State House take over the hospital,” Ms Bananuka said in a separate interview with Daily Monitor on Tuesday.
She said the government intends to upgrade Entebbe Grade B Hospital to have both a public and a private wing before State House takes over Entebbe Grade A Hospital.
Entebbe Grade A Hospital is a government-owned health facility where all medical services are paid for by patients. It has capacity of 50 patients. The hospital treats rabies patients from all over the country. It also runs a weekly HIV clinic benefiting people from Entebbe and the surrounding islands.
At Entebbe Grade B Hospital, the government foots the medical bills of patients.
Ms Bananuka said Katabi Military Hospital in Entebbe would start catering for civilians if the planned takeover is approved. Entebbe Hospital management declined to comment on the matter because of the sensitivity of the issue. The Ministry of Health spokesperson, Ms Rukia Nakamate, said she was not aware of the takeover plan. She added that she consulted the ministry Permanent Secretary, Dr Asuman Lukwago, who also said he is not aware of the development.