The residents of Kawempe and Makindye today moved a step closer to having a referral hospital in each of the divisions after the Ministry of Health began an evaluation process for the contractors.
The ministry’s Procurement and Disposal Unit opened a total of 37 bids from companies seeking to be enlisted to undertake the construction works of the proposed Kawempe and Kiruddu referral hospitals, a move that would bring the total number of government owned referral hospitals in Kampala city to three.
Seventeen companies applied to be selected for the work on Kawempe referral hospital, while 20 others applied to construct Kiruddu referral hospital. Top International Engineering Corporation from China, Amugoli General Services and Icon were the only construction firms that applied only for the construction of Kiruddu referral hospital while all the other 17 companies applied for both Kiruddu and Kawempe.
The competing firms, dominated by Chinese –registered companies sought to outbid each other in many ways including the amount of money they seek to spend doing the work. The price quotations ranged from 8 to 23 million dollars for each of the proposed hospitals.
Godfrey Erukwaine, the Principal Procurement Officer in the Ministry of Health, told Uganda Radio Network that the evaluation process would last about 10 days before the eventual winner among the competing firms could be awarded the contract to finally begin the work. Erukwaine also warned the firms that they would be blacklisted for involvement in forgery.
In May, Asuman Lukwago, the acting Permanent Secretary announced that the ministry was calling bids for the construction of the proposed hospitals in Kawempe and Makindye divisions respectively.
He explained that government had received money from the African Development Bank and the Nigerian Trust Fund to facilitate the improvement of health services delivery at Mulago Hospital and Kampala City in general.
He added that part of the loan would be used to meet the costs for the construction of the two referral hospitals as a measure to reduce congestion at the Mulago National Referral Hospital. The addition of the two referral hospitals in Kampala city is expected to improve the delivery of health service by offering options from the presently overcrowded Mulago.
Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) has 11 health units that were constructed in 1937 to provide primary health care to citizens. According to Jennifer Musisi, the city Executive Director, the demand for health services has outstripped the capacity of the facilities due to rapid urbanization.
Musisi said in a recent report that Kampala has a night population of two million that increases to 4.5 million people during the day.