The Public Accounts Committee-PAC has grilled officials from Mulago National Referral Hospital for the delayed procurement of a cobalt machine for treating cancer patients despite the release of funds in the 2010/2011 financial year.
According to the auditor general’s report ending 30th June 2011, the treasury released 2.2 billion shillings in the 2010/2011 financial year for the purchase of a cobalt machine to aid the treatment of cancer patients.
It is used to stop the multiplication of cancer cells. But to date Mulago Hospital is yet to procure the machine. This morning, Dr. Baterana Byarugaba, the Executive Director Mulago national referral Hospital told PAC that by May 2011, the process of procuring the machine was almost complete.
He however, said that they halted the procurement process when they received information from the International Atomic Energy Agency-IAEA indicating that the machine they were about to procure didn’t meet international standards set by IAEA.
Dr Byarugaba said that IAEA also dispatched an expert to advise the Hospital on how to construct a bunker, which will be used to house the cobalt machine for security reasons.
He explained that the construction of the bunker is still ongoing adding that, once it is complete, they will procure and install the cobalt machine.
Byarugaba also said that they had paid for the cobalt machine through the International Atomic Energy Agency, which is handling procurement on behalf of the Hospital in line with a bi-lateral agreement between the Government of Uganda and IAEA.
He told the committee that in one or two months the machine will be in the country to aid the treatment of Cancer patients.