The management of Soroti Regional Referral Hospital is stuck with Shs230m meant for renovation of dilapidated wards.
Mr Simon Kisabagirye, the principal hospital administrator, said they had planned to rehabilitate the medical ward (ward three) with a new roof but halted the process upon consultation with the municipal council engineers.
Mr Kisabagirye said the engineers condemned the structure, saying it is old and dilapidated, and that the wall was too weak.
"The medical ward was infested by termites and we thought it was necessary to renovate it but when our contractor started the work, we were stopped by the municipality engineers," he said.
Mr Kisabagirye added that the hospital management halted the works, pending consultations from the Ministry of Health and verification by the chief engineer, who is yet to be sent from the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development.
"We cannot bank our hopes in only the municipal engineers but we have also written to the Ministry seeking their opinion because the regional referral hospital is under the supervision of central government and it's only the chief engineer from the Ministry of Lands, Housing and Urban Development that can give final condemnation," Mr Kisabagirye said.
The Soroti municipal engineer, Mr Alex Oriekot, said: "I have always had some reservations [about issues of the hospital], I want you to get information from the hospital because I made my recommendations and they have everything."
The hospital director, Dr Michael Mwanga, said they would return the money to the consolidated fund if their plan to rehabilitate the medical ward fails.
"We don't have enough money for a new structure and in any case should we fail to agree on the modalities we shall return the money since erecting a new building of the same kind requires more than Shs350m," Dr Mwanga said.
The medical ward was constructed in the 1940s with a bed capacity of 60 patients.
As a result of the rehabilitation exercise, it has been abandoned and the admitted patients were relocated to the eye, nose and throat ward.