By Azania Post Reporter
TANZANIA has no plans to construct another hospital for cancer patients, since the existing one can serve population and there is no enough budget to do that , the Minister for Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children, Ummy Mwalimu tells Legislators in Dodoma today.
She was responding to a supplementary question by Temeke legislator, Ally Mtolea (CUF) who wanted to know whether the government has plans to build another hospital for cancer patients in order to reduce congestion at Ocean Road.
The MP said the Ocean Road Cancer Hospital is too far from public transport and it is congested hence there was a need to construct another one.
Speaking on her behalf, the Minister for Natural Resources and Tourism , Dr Hamis Kigwangala, said the government would not construct a new hospital for cancer patients in the city.
Responding to another question by Special Seats legislator Leah Komanya , Minister Kigwangala said the government would continue to improve cancer services at Bugando Hospital in Mwanza.
The MP had asked the government to enable Bugando hospital provide services for cancer patients since ORCI was far away and congested.
“It is said that 60 percent of cancer patients are from Lake Zone why do not the government support this hospital instead of going to Dar es Salaam which is too far and congested?”, she asked
Reacting , Minister Kigwangala said already the government has started initiatives to see that the hospital provides services to cancer patients.
“We have purchased xray machines, construct a room for x- ray, recruit staff hence the services would be available in near future,” he stated.
Medical staff at Bugando, a tertiary care and teaching hospital in Tanzania’s second largest city, Mwanza, are keen to start offering radiotherapy to the growing number of cancer patients arriving at the hospital’s doors.
In 2014, the government helped to build a state-of-the-art oncology wing at the hospital to make it a regional hub for cancer treatment, complete with several bunkers to house radioactive material safely.
Bugando is a lifeline for the 13 million-strong population of northern Tanzania’s Lake Victoria region, providing specialised care no other hospital around can offer.