Uganda medical workers have called a general assembly to be held in the next 24 /48 hours. Uganda Medical Association President Dr Obuku Ekwaro told Nile Post that they are waiting for government to respond or commit in writing which will determine the doctor’s move on whether to call off the strike or carry on.
“We have made significant progress so far and we are waiting to be empowered by government then we shall hold a general assembly to either call off the strike or continue after getting a basis”, Dr Obuku Ekwaro said.
Uganda Medical Association (UMA) NEC met with the cabinet on 19th / 20th November to discuss the way forward for the heath workers at the office of the prime minister. The public relations officer UMA Dr. Fauz Kavuma said the industrial action is in full force until the government responds to give them a way forward.
Last month, over 300 doctors laid down their tools demanding for better working conditions. The public servants under the health sector raised 3 key issues;
- a) The chronic scarcity of medicines in public hospitals
- b) The “war on doctors” with wanton maltreatment and arrests
- c) The continued neglect of human capital in the health sector
The doctor’s low payment was also decried by Minister of Finance, Hon. Matia Kasaijja last week on Thursday during a press conference at the Uganda media centre saying that the principle of equity needs to be considered.
“It is ridiculous for a driver to earn 5 million and a doctor is getting 3 million shillings. Salaries should match the responsibility of the post,” said Kasaijja.
On November 16, while speaking at a public rally in Burahya County, Kabarole District, President Museveni promised to sack all striking medical doctors.
“I will not accept Ugandans to die, doctors who don’t want to work will be sacked,” he said
Patients across the country were left stranded in many hospitals as there were no doctors to attend to them.
The Uganda People’s Defence Forces (UPDF) and Uganda Police Force (UPF) have deployed their medical doctors in major hospitals to fill the void and act as an antidote to the doctor’s strike as government devises means of addressing the malady.
The doctor’s strike continues as UMA awaits government response and commitment in writing upon which will determine the doctors’ move on whether to call off the strike or to continue.