Medical oxygen investment pays off

THE government efforts to boost supply of medical oxygen in the country has started  paying  off as Dodoma-based Benjamin Mkapa Hospital (BMH) is currently supplying the essential medicine to other health facilities in some regions.

The  government had  invested  1.5bn/- at the  facility  for  construction of  an  oxygen plant which started  generating oxygen  in July last year.

The hospital’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr Alphonce Chandika told reporters on Tuesday besides meeting its oxygen demand, the hospital has managed to supply the essential medicine to their health facilities and earned 927m/- profit in a period of one year of its operation.

Dr Chandika was briefing journalists on Tuesday on the hospitals implementation of the development projects and prospects for the 2023/24 financial year.

“After  deducting  operation costs that caters for electricity, water bills, salaries among others, the plant has generated a 927m/- as profit  in a period of one year since it started  operations  in July  last year,” he said.

The 1.5bn/-  was dished out by the government  for  the  purchase and installation of  oxygen generators, 560 medical oxygen gas cylinders and three-tonne van for supplying the oxygen, he said.

“We are optimist that the plant will earn the facility  more income  and enable it to operate by its own source of income,” said Dr Chandika

He  said the hospital supply oxygen  to health facilities, which include Morogoro, Manyara, Iringa, Tabora, Iringa and Singida regions.

Dr Chandika  noted that  within one year, the plant has supplied 37,111- medical oxygen cylinders  with capacity of  50 litres and 430  with capacity of between five and ten litres  all worth  1.85bn/-.

“We commend President Dr Samia Suluhu Hassan’s decision to disburse money to invest in the oxygen plant as the country is assured of the medical oxygen supply thus cutting down the cost the government would have incurred for importing the gas,” he  noted.

Moreover, he said, the hospital is among the beneficiaries of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Covid-19 emergency financial assistance under the Rapid Credit Facility and Rapid Financing Instrument.

The hospital, he said, received 2.64bn/- under the facility, which was spent in improving emergency services, ICU by increasing the room from six to 22 rooms by the end of the 2022/23.

In the 2022/23 financial year, the hospital also purchased digital
x-ray machines, two ambulances; strengthen telemedicines services and medical experts training, courtesy of the IMF funding.

The hospital which attending  between 800 and 1,200 patients daily, he said, has come up with an electronic system which is a solution to avoid long queue for people seeking medical services.

Moreover, he said, the hospital eyes for more specialised and super specialised services for patients around the central regions and neighbouring countries as they want to be a medical tourism hub.

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