By Our Reporter
14th Sept 2023
A group of intern doctors at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital are raising concerns over insecurity and the lack of accommodation near the facility.
The intern doctors were deployed at the hospital in August 2023 by the government through the Ministry of Health.
However, due to a shortage of staff accommodation at the hospital, they had to rent housing in Kabale town at their own expense.
The intern doctors are now facing security challenges as criminals target them when leaving for night duties.
In the past three weeks, there have been four separate incidents of criminal attacks on the intern doctors, resulting in the theft of their belongings, including laptops and money.
This has raised concerns about their safety and hindered their ability to provide medical services, especially during nighttime shifts.
Dr. Osinde Ochieng, the Head of Interns at the hospital, expressed frustration about the lack of accommodation for intern doctors at or near the hospital and questioned why this issue has not been addressed by the hospital administration.
Dr. Oscar Melvin Gumisiriza, one of the affected interns, highlighted the financial strain caused by these incidents and the fear that the situation might escalate to the point of physical harm or even death.
He called for negotiations between the hospital administration, the government, and the contractor responsible for building accommodation facilities for intern doctors.
Godfrey Nyakahuma, Kabale Resident District Commissioner, acknowledged the intern doctors’ concerns and stated that security measures are being discussed, including the possibility of transporting doctors with night duties using a vehicle and establishing a police post at the facility.
The construction company, Musuuza Building Contractors Limited, had been tasked with constructing accommodation for health workers and interns at a cost of 7.8 billion Shillings.
The completion of the project faced delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic and cost overruns, resulting in an unpaid balance of 790 million Shillings.
Until this financial dispute is resolved, the contractor has refused to hand over the accommodation facilities and has deployed armed private security guards to protect the building.