KALANGALA. The Speaker of Parliament, Ms Rebecca Kadaga, has said government should reduce or even scrap taxes on imported health equipment.
She said some donors are discouraged by the taxes.
“I and two former MPs Fred Badda and Mathias Kasamba received free equipment from Medshare International. We also got free shipping from Coca-Cola. But the government through the Ministry of Finance are still hesitant to let us get the equipment tax-free,” Ms Kadaga said.
The Speaker was speaking while inspecting a Shs1.4 billion health equipment donation by Medshare, an international humanitarian organisation, in Kalangala Town at the weekend.
In 2013, Ms Kadaga together with Mr Badda and Mr Kasamba went to Medshare International in Atlanta to solicit maternal health and infant care assistance. They received 20 containers of medical equipment to distribute across the country.
Some of the donated medical equipment include infant warmers, delivery beds, fetal scanners, oxygen concentrators, electrical surgery units, anesthetic units, lab equipment and wheelchairs.
She answered critics who question her frequent travel abroad, saying she only goes to solicit assistance.
“All those who think I waste people’s money on such movements are stupid,” she added.
Dr Jane Ruth Aceng, the Minister for Health, applauded those who ensured safe delivery of the equipment and urged leaders in Kalangala District to jealously protect the equipment and to ensure the intended beneficiaries access them.
Kalangala District chairperson Willy Lugoloobi, appealed to the Speaker to ensure that Parliament allocates resources for the purchase of a marine ambulance to assist patients in the islands.