Delayed Staff Hostel Handover Forces Medical Interns at Kabale Hospital to Seek External Accommodations

By Obed Kankiriho

KABALE – The Ministry of Health’s deployment of medical interns to Kabale Regional Referral Hospital in Kabale District has encountered a stumbling block. The planned staff hostel, which was supposed to provide accommodation for these interns, has not been handed over by the contractors responsible for its construction.

Last month, Dr. Henry Mwebesa, the Director of Medical Services at the Ministry of Health, announced the deployment of medical interns to various centers nationwide. Kabale Regional Referral Hospital was allocated 41 medical interns, comprising 5 pharmacists, 16 nurses, and 20 doctor interns. These interns arrived at the hospital on August 3rd, under the coordination of Hospital Director Dr. Nyeko John Philbert.

However, an unfortunate situation has arisen where the interns find themselves renting accommodations at their own expense due to the delayed completion of the staff hostel. This arrangement has posed challenges to their mobility and duty schedules. Dr. Nyeko expressed his concern over the situation, emphasizing that it has resulted in additional costs for the hospital, including transportation expenses.

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Dr. Nyeko elaborated on the origins of this predicament. The staff hostel, a significant project worth Sh7.8 billion, was initially financed by the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Health. Construction, undertaken by Musuuza Building Contractors Limited, commenced in May 2017, with an anticipated completion date of June 3, 2022. The facility was designed to address the accommodation shortage for healthcare professionals and interns. It boasted modern apartments, recreational facilities, a multi-purpose center, and a grocery store.

Despite the near-completion of the construction, a complication arose as the contractor declined to hand over the structure to the hospital authorities. The contractor’s stance is tied to an unsettled balance of 790 million shillings, stemming from the increased prices of building materials between 2020 and 2022. This discrepancy has put the completion and handover of the facility on hold.

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Dr. Nyeko stressed that resolving this matter involves the expertise of procurement specialists. He revealed that efforts have been made to engage the Resident District Commissioner for Kabale and the security team in order to facilitate the transfer of the hostel to the hospital’s custody.

“Once the handover is successfully executed, it will provide a much-needed resting place for doctors working night shifts, alleviating their accommodation concerns and enhancing their ability to provide quality medical care”.Dr Nyeko Said.

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