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Cancer Institute quizzed on cash collected from patients

Executive Director of Uganda Cancer Institute Dr. Jackson Oryma (M) addressing journalists at media breakfast meeting recently (PHOTO/File)

KAMPALA – MPs on the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) were on September 9, left furious over the failure by officials from the Uganda Cancer Institute to account for UGX 1.77 billion which they collected from patients.

The committee was interfacing with the officials from the Uganda Cancer Institute led by the Executive Director Dr. Jackson Oryem on the Auditor General reports of the financial year 2016/17and 2017/18respectively.

The committee noted that UGX7.7 million shillings was money in transit in 2015/16 when the financial year started, it was reflected but it is still missing.

The cancer institute officials could not also explain why they did not utilize UGX 1.2billion out of the released UGX 3.3billion in the financial year 2016/17.

The committee members observed that the Uganda Cancer Institute officials spent UGX 18.4 billion beyond the UGX 18.3 billion released funds leaving UGX 10 million explained expenditure.

However, Wilberforce Yaguma (Kashari County North) is concerned that the cancer institute complains about inadequate funding and gets public sympathy yet even the little money released is not properly utilized.

“UGX 3.3Bn was sent to recruit health workers, but UGX1.2Bn was never used, meaning they never recruited people. Patients are sleeping in the open, there are no beds. People now hate NRM Government that they aren’t producing resources to help cancer patients yet money is provided not utilized,” he said.

He said that the conditions at the cancer institute is also alarming citing the cancer patients sleeping on the floor and the number of death of cancer victims going up per month.

“I am concerned about the cancer institute because like any Ugandans, I have lost people to cancer. It has taken over HIV/AIDS but I am disturbed to discover that in the financial year Parliament gave billions of money to the Cancer institute but the management of cancer institute failed to utilize the money,” said Yaguma.

With this unaccounted-expenditures the committee chairperson Nathan Nandala Mafabi ruled that the Cancer Institute officials give the full accountability within one week.

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