Victory for Health: Contractor Relents, Hands Over Intern Doctors’ Hostel at Kabale Hospital

Musuuza Building Contractors Limited, the company contracted by the Ugandan government, has finally handed over the completed intern doctors’ hostel to Kabale Regional Referral Hospital authorities. The hostel is now ready for occupation.

During the closure of the Kigezi Region Support Supervision over the weekend at Kabale Hospital, Dr. Diana Atwiine, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, issued an ultimatum, demanding the contractor to hand over the hostel within one week. She emphasized that failure to comply would lead to involving the Public Procurement and Disposal of Public Assets Authority (PPDA), potentially blacklisting the company from being given government contracts.

“The contractor must hand over the hostel within a period of one week from now, or else we take him to PPDA so that the company is blacklisted from contracting with the government. He must hand over the hostel. We agreed with him in a meeting some time back, and I’m surprised he hasn’t handed over the building. I can’t accept to continue seeing the doctors suffering,” Dr. Atwine asserted.

The structure was completed months ago, but the contractor had refused to hand it over despite several engagements with stakeholders in the region and in the ministry.

The construction of the hostel, valued at Sh7.8 billion and funded by the Government of Uganda, faced delays as the contractor cited an unpaid extra balance for their reluctance. Despite the facility’s expected completion date of June 3, 2022, the contractor alleged that challenges caused by the COVID-19 lockdown resulted in work delays, and they officially communicated this to relevant authorities. Additionally, the company claimed to have faced extra expenditures of 790 million shillings due to delays and increased prices of building materials between 2020 and 2022.

Three months ago, the government deployed a team of 41 medical interns to Kabale Regional Referral Hospital, anticipating their occupation of the newly constructed hostel. However, the unoccupied state of the hostel has raised concerns among hospital authorities and the broader community.