- December 13, 2021
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- 3 minutes read
Incoming interns join medical workers strike as row with gov’t escalates
Incoming, intern doctors have announced a nationwide boycott of all government hospitals in support of their senior colleagues who were told to vacate government premises at all hospitals following a sit-down strike that was announced a few weeks ago.
The pre- intern doctors have told the Ministry of Health to first fulfill the demands of the outgoing intern doctors or else they will not take up any assignment.
This follows a meeting held on video conferencing platform, Zoom and in-person at Mulago National Referral Hospital on Sunday which was attended by pre-intern doctors from all universities and institutions countrywide that teach medicine.
Dr. Lillian Nabwire, who is the president of the Federation of Uganda Medical Interns (FUMI), told journalists after the meeting government does not seem to care about medical workers and they will not be part of such “mistreatment.”
“All they care about is to produce this lot of medical workers and then another, but our welfare has not been looked at,” Nabwire said.
Nabwire said that during the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic around July this year, medical interns were deployed at hospitals to handle suspected Covid-19 patents without PPE, something that put their lives at risk.
“I wrote a letter to the ministry, telling them that 115 interns had contracted Covid-19 during their line of duty but we got no response,” Nabwire added.
Nabwire said that if the issues that their senior colleagues have raised are not addressed now, the same issues will continue coming up and therefore they want them resolved before they start their internship.
The Ministry of Health Director General Health Services, Dr. Henry Mwebesa said in a letter last week that the government had fired all medical interns who are currently on strike.
Mwebesa gave all the striking interns one week to vacate government hospitals and pave way for the new interns.
This development now hangs in balance as the interns who were expected to fill the gap have now vowed that they will not step into any hospital if their colleagues’ demands are not sorted.
Currently, the senior doctors are on strike, the intern doctors are also on strike since November 6, 2021, and now the pre-interns joining the struggle leaves the health sector in shambles and the patients at the mercy of God.