The Deputy Speaker of Parliament, Jacob Oulanyah has pledged to support plans to expand the Uganda Heart Institute and its work of saving the lives of Ugandans.
Oulanyah commended the Institute headed by Dr. Dr. John Omangino for its ground breaking research in treatment of heart complications, noting that it needs to be facilitated more.
“I commit that if anything comes before me in Parliament about the Uganda Heart Institute, it will receive priority,” said Oulanyah.
The Deputy Speaker made the commitment in response to a call by the Minister for Health, Hon. Dr. Jane Ruth Achieng, for Parliament to appropriate funds to set up a facility to house the institute outside Mulago Hospital.
The Minister noted that she had advocated for increased funding for the expansion of the Uganda Heart Institute which she said had stalled overtime.
“We need a bigger and spacious heart institute in the country that can accommodate the over 42 million Ugandans, so that they can stop seeking surgeries abroad,” Achieng said.
Oulanyah noted that he had interacted with Dr. Omangino and taken notes, which he shared with President Yoweri Museveni, and has thus tasked the Minister to follow it up at cabinet level.
“The proposal on how much can be given to which government body is made in a meeting between ministers and the President,” said Oulanyah, adding that “since the budget season is coming up, make the proposal through cabinet and bring to Parliament, it will find me there”.
He noted that the President had often reiterated the aspect of competing priorities for financial investment, adding that health ought to be one of the major priorities.
Oulanyah said this at a thanksgiving service in Apac District, for Dr. Emmy Okello, one of leading researchers and cardiologists at the Institute.
Oulanyah commended Dr. Okello for saving his father Mr. Okori Nathan, by performing a critical heart operation in January this year.
The thanksgiving service that was presided over by the Bishop of West Lango Diocese, Rt. Rev. Alfred Acur Okodi and byby Members of Parliament including Hon. Jimmy Akena (UPC, Lira Municipality), Hon. Maxwell Akora (UPC, Maruzi County), Third Deputy Prime Minister of Buganda Owek. Apollo Nelson Makubuya and academicians among others.