Medical doctors have resolved to resume their strike after failing to strike a compromise with government. The doctors resolved to resume their strike at their extra ordinary held in Davis Lecture Theatre DLT at Mulago hospital in Kampala this morning under their umbrella Uganda Medical Association (UMA).
During the stormy meeting, the doctors accused government of failing to show seriousness in handling their demands for a pay rise and improved working conditions.
They also want government to enhance their allowances including overtime, housing, transport and medical risk among others. Prior to the resolution by the medics, the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda assured them that government was committed to improving their welfare following a meeting between President Yoweri Museveni and their representatives in Mid-October.
Rugunda asked the medics to suspend their industrial action pending another meeting with the president, but the medics booed him down.
“We know you are raising essentially one one which I may summarize as improved conditions and terms or work for doctors and health workers so they work better. Bearing in mind that President Museveni has already extended an invitation to you for further discussion this month, I would advise that the intended industrial action be suspended…….” Rugunda said before being booed down.
Following the disagreement, Dr. Mukuzi Muhereza, the General Secretary UMA read out the general guidelines for the industrial action by the health workers.
“All out patients care will be closed, all non emergence clinics like HIV, antenatal and diabetes will be closed,” he said
He asked the medical workers to work as a team and keep everyone in the loop to ensure they are clear about the objectives of the industrial action.
Prof Francis Omaswa from the Medical Elder’s Forum appealed to the medical workers to take the offer by government and wait to meet the president again, a proposal they rejected out rightly.
Dr. Ekwaro Obuku, the President Uganda Medical Association, said they would only stop their struggle for better welfare that started in 1996 when they get tangible results from government.
The doctors want government to increase the salary of medical interns from Shillings 960,000 to Shillings 8.5 million. They also medical assistant and teaching assistants to earn Shillings 15 million, get a two-bedroom house and a 2.5cc vehicle.
They also want government to pay a senior consultant doctor or professor Shillings 48m including allowances; provide him a five-bedroom house, 4.0cc vehicle and three domestic workers.
Currently, a senior consultant doctor earns about Shs3.4 million, consultant Shs2.6m, and a medical officer Shs1.1 million.
The doctors also want salaries for nurses and midwives enhanced to about Shs6.5 million besides providing them a three-bedroomed house, 2.0cc vehicle and one domestic worker.
Dr. Obuku appealed to the president to disband the State House Health Monitoring Unit and replace it with the health professional council.