Mildmay Uganda has launched a 30-year Master Plan that will see their health centre evolve into a teaching hospital. According to Mildmay Uganda officials, the construction of the training facility will cost $33 million (about Shs 118bn).
The Mildmay board chairperson, Prof Sam Lugoba, said that through the master plan, the institution hopes to achieve a modern not-for-profit teaching hospital that offers quality health care and training as part of her contribution to the national goal of universal access to health care.
"Mildmay has since evolved into a centre of excellence for HIV and palliative care; we are a diploma-awarding institution of higher specializing in health sciences and accredited by National Council for Higher Education (NCHE)," he said.
Prof Lugoba explained that Mildmay's research centre has been accredited by National Council for Science and Technology (UNCST). Speaking during the unveiling of the master plan last week, Lugoba explained that the programme is strategically planned to respond to constraints and emerging priorities in health care.
He added that: "We have 30 courses accredited for diploma programmes and as we start this new journey, we have applied to UNCST and NCHE to be a degree-awarding institution. We believe, within the 30 years, we will have a fully-fledged training facility".
The state minister for Health, in charge of general duties, Sarah Opendi, said the government would provide all support needed by Mildmay but also urged development partners to join the cause to ensure quality training.
"Ministry of Health and Education will give you due support. It is true that we have poorly-trained graduate health officers, this is attributed to institutions that only concentrate on numbers but not quality," she said.
"We need a specialized medical teaching hospital; so students will have both theory and practical here at the facility and can be easily monitored and guided".
The area MP Sempala Kigozi said the education ministry should assist institutions to train professionals and also fight examination malpractice.
"Mildmay still wants some 30 acres of land, it is our duty and the ministry of education to find the land in this constituency; otherwise, they will find it elsewhere and the municipality will lose out," he said.
Barbra Mukasa, Mildmay Uganda's executive director, said the hospital has significantly contributed to ending the HIV epidemic since they opened doors in 1998 to give comprehensive HIV care.
"Mildmay Uganda now gives HIV care to over 100,000 clients (13 per cent of the total number of clients on antiretroviral drugs in the country). Of these, 7,000 are children, we need a teaching hospital to help get more doctors and nurses," she said.