Plans to transfer the University Teaching Hospital of Kigali (CHUK) from the Central Business District is still alive with the construction of a new facility in Masaka, an official has told Sunday Times.
Malick Kayumba, the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Health, said that if all goes according to plan, the construction of the new facility is set to begin early next year and be concluded after three years,.
Significant boost to health sector
"Currently, the Chinese are in the process of recruiting a construction company and the budget is put at $100 million. The new project will bring onboard 837 beds and this is a significant boost to the health sector."
In February, sources indicated that the government intended to relocate CHUK to Masaka but not much - including cost estimates of the new facility - was, at the time divulged.
At the time, Dr Théobald Hategekimana, CHUK Director-General, only confirmed that all aspects were being handled by the Ministry of Health.
The Minister for Health, Dr Diane Gashumba, then said designs for the facility's new location were being wrapped up, with the help of the Chinese government.
Dr Hategekimana also acknowledged that the wheels were in motion.
According to the city master plan, CHUK's current location - opposite Kigali Serena Hotel - is a prime plot designated for apartments.
Earlier this year, a city engineer, confirmed that according to the master plan the area is designated for apartment blocks.
The present CHUK was constructed in 1918 and it started operations in 1928. Initially, it operated as a health centre before upgrading to a hospital, in 1965. The facility currently serves as a referral hospital.