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Minister mistaken, Aga Khan hospital only promised 400 dosages not treatment for 400 people

The free radiotherapy offer by Aga Khan Hospital to Ugandan cancer patients was misrepresented, URN has learnt. Dr. Jackson Orem, the Director Uganda Cancer Institute, explains that Aga Khan Hospital only offered 400 dosages to Uganda as opposed to 400 patients as presented by the health officials to parliament.

Last week, a team of health officials led by Dr. Chris Baryomunsi, the Health State Minister, informed the Health Committee of parliament that Aga Khan Hospital offered free radiotherapy treatment to 400 cancer patients.

The Minister explained that government would meet the transport, feeding and accommodation costs of those selected to benefit from the offer. However, Dr. Jackson Orem, the Director Uganda Cancer Institute, says the offer can at best cover not more than 20 cancer patients.

Orem explained that government has already constituted a team to vet the patients who will benefit from the program. He however, said government will give priority to patients whose cancers are in the early stages, since they have greater chances of healing completely to enable them come back and be productive.

Orem is however, non-committal on whether those selected will receive transport and accommodation support from government since board rules require patient to cater for themselves.

Aga Khan Hospital offered the free radiotherapy treatment for the cancer patients following the breakdown of the radiotherapy machine at the cancer institute broke a month ago living more than 33,000 patients in need of services stranded.