PRESIDENT Edgar Lungu says the government’s aspiration is to transform Zambia into a regional medical hub and promote medical tourism.
During the laying of foundation stone for Bangweulu Regional Hospital in Lupososhi district, Northern Province yesterday, President Lungu said this would only be achieved through health facilities of high standards and strategically placed such as the Bangweulu Hospital.
He said the laying of the foundation stone kick-starts the construction of the hospital.
President Lungu said the development was a confirmation that the government was indeed walking the talk and they were delivering on promises as espoused in the PF manifesto.
He said the government was resolved to improve the wellbeing of citizens across the breadth and length of the country through, among other things, provision of access to quality healthcare.
President Lungu said the government had placed high premium on having a healthy and productive population to spur socio-economic development.
“This is as outlined in the Seventh National Development Plan, the Patriotic Front manifesto, and the National Health Strategic Plan 2017-2021. Therefore, it gives me great pleasure to lay the foundation stone to commence the construction of an ultra modern hospital, the Bangweulu Regional Hospital, which will be constructed at the cost of K154,174,340.72. The hospital will have a bed capacity of 800 and will take about 36 months to complete,” he said.
He said the first phase of the project involves construction of an outpatient department, maternity wing, casualty wing, administration block, modern laboratory, an operating theatre, and physiotherapy department.
President Lungu said Bangweulu hospital was earmarked to be a centre of clinical excellence in the region housing consultants in various medical disciplines.
He said this would significantly improve the delivery of health services, not only in Lupososhi but the entire province.
President Lungu said the facility would also result in the reduction of referral of patients to Kasama General Hospital, and the University Teaching Hospitals.
He said this would save the government and the people from incurring unnecessary costs.
“The hospital will also provide training of various health personnel, including specialisation under the auspices of the Levy Mwanawasa Medical University. This is in line with my directive to the Minister of Health to enhance human capital development in the health sector. My government will resolutely develop all the newly created districts in line with our decentralisation programme. This will bring social amenities such as health services as close to our people as possible, irrespective of where they are. We shall not relent on this undertaking as a government in power,” he said.
President Lungu said in addition to putting up modern structures, the government would ensure that all necessary staff, equipment and other requisites were provided to facilitate seamless operations.
He urged stakeholders involved in the construction of the hospital to ensure that works were expedited and the project delivered in a timely manner.
President Lungu urged the people of Lupososhi to support the contractor as the works were being executed.
“Your role is critical to the delivery of the project on time. I further appeal to our traditional leadership to support this unprecedented project which will definitely change the lives of our people,” said President Lungu.