• December 11, 2021
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Just In: Museveni Fires All Striking Medical Workers

Just In: Museveni Fires All Striking Medical Workers

President Yoweri Museveni’s Government has fired all striking intern doctors and ordered them to vacate hospitals and houses they have been occupying.

In a letter dated December 10, Dr Henry G Mwebesa, the Director-General of Health Services at the Ministry of Health (MoH) has informed all Hospital Directors, Medical Superintendents, and Medical Internship Training Sites that the Ministry of Health Top Management has decided to fire all striking interns.

“All Medical Interns on strike vacate the Hospital premises within one week of the date of this letter to pave way for the new Medical Interns that are due to start in the year 2022. All those who went on strike will find their own way of completing their second rotation in order to be signed off,” said Dr Mwebesa.

“As soon as funds for the enhancement of Medical Interns’ allowances are released by Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Ministry of Health will pay their arrears up to the time the Medical Interns went on strike.”

The director-general of health services has further told all Hospital Directors, Medical Superintendents and Medical Internship Training Sites to “effect the above directives immediately.”

Letter From Ministry Of Health

Through their umbrella organization Uganda Medical association, health workers announced a sit-down strike weeks ago over the failure by the government to improve their working conditions and to increase their salaries despite the several promises and directives made by the president.

These include doctors, nurses, midwives, consultants, medical interns, and pharmacists.

“We don’t want signed papers, we don’t want promises, we don’t want meetings. This time all we want is money on our accounts or else we won’t come back to work,” said Dr. Herbert Luswata, Secretary-General Uganda Medical Association.

Dr. Samuel Odongo Oledo, UMA President said that the health workers have over the past four years engaged relevant government ministries, departments, and agencies to discuss matters affecting them. But the government has been making promises which have not been fulfilled.

While meeting the doctors under their umbrella body, Uganda Medical Association (UMA), on Wednesday, 8 December 2021, MPs on the Health Committee asked the medics to exercise patience while the government looks into their demands.

However, in response, the Chairperson of Uganda Medical Association in charge of welfare, Dr. Aaron Nahabwe, said as medical workers enter day 15 of industrial action, they would not resume work until the supplementary budget is implemented.

“I work in Mulago Hospital and I buy my own masks and yet we are told that the supplementary budget was passed. We need the presidential directive implemented,” he said.

Regarding filling vacant positions in government health facilities, Nahabwe said that the minimum demand is that an advert is published by the health service commission.

In the same vein, the Deputy Secretary-General UMA and Secretary-General of the Federation of Uganda Medical Interns, Dr. Faith Nabushawo, said intern doctors are subjected to working long hours and they no longer receive pay.

Commenting on the interns’ pay, the Secretary-General UMA, Dr. Herbert Luswata said they are avoiding a repeat of what happened in 2019 when a supplementary budget was passed and remuneration of interns included but to date, no money has been paid.

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