The Executive Director, Butabika National Referral Hospital, Dr. Juliet Nakku has appealed for a budgetary allocation of Shs5 billion in the 2023/2024 budget for completion of the facility’s concrete perimeter wall.
She made the appeal while presenting the hospital’s ministerial policy statement before the Health Committee on 03 April 2023.
“The wall is five kilometres and we have only constructed under half of that. We no longer get construction budget,” Nakku said.
She stressed the need to construct the wall as a means of avoiding rampant incidences in which patients escape and end up drowning in the nearby swamps.
She also warned that failure to complete the wall leaves room for continued encroachment on the hospital’s land.
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She revealed that out of the 408 acres of the land, only 283 acres are left.
The Committee Chairperson, Dr Charles Ayume pledged to take up the matter with the Minister of Finance.
“I know the ministry does not want to hear about construction budgets but these are special patients and we need to protect them,” Ayume said.
Hon. George Bhoka (NRM, Obongi County) said the security of patients and staff should be prioritised.
“We need to reconsider financing the completion of the perimeter wall,” Bhoka said.
Maracha East County MP, Hon. Ruth Lematia urged government to put measures to stop encroachment on the hospital’s land.
“Whatever they [hospital management] have asked for is modest. We should help the hospital grow,” she said.
Hon. Yusuf Nsibambi (FDC, Mawokoto County South) advised the hospital’s management to reclaim the encroached land through bonafide ownership and administratively cancel the titles that were issued by the Uganda Land Commission.
“A wall alone may not deter the encroachers. The Executive Director should re-open the hospital’s land that was given out irregularly by the Uganda Land Commission,” said Nsibambi.
Butabika Hospital is a mental teaching and research facility that offers specialised mental health care and limited general outpatient services.