The Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union has accused the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council of unfairly summoning their members for disciplinary action.
In a July 8, 2019 letter, the acting registrar, Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council, Angella Illakut summoned over 70 nurses and midwives over allegations of professional misconduct including negligence, forged practicing licences, forged academic certificates, absenteeism and taking roles designated to them by law as nursing officers.
According to the letter, the nurses are set to appear before the council’s disciplinary committee between August 13 and 14.
However, in response, the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union president Justus Cherop Kiplangat has said it is wrong for the nurses’ council to summon them basing on an outdated law.
“The nurses and midwives are working under an old act dating way back in 1996 and is not compatible with the current working condition and charging them basing on the same law is being unfair,”Cherop said.
According to the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union, it is the mandate of the nurses’ council to put in place measures that would ensure professionalism among nurses and midwives to enable them look beyond their individual capacities and contribute to the health care.
Cherop argued that the nurses’ council has failed to put in place operating guidelines that would enable practitioner their members work well.
“There are no operating guidelines, no scope of practice citing and in some work stations, nurses are care-taking as heads of health units as well as prescribing drugs to patients. Subjecting them to disciplinary action for performing such services intended to be for doctors is being unfair,” he noted.
“I should not be misunderstood for protecting errant nurses and midwives but in this particular case, the majority of those summoned are innocent.”
He insisted that most of those summoned have been caught by circumstances beyond their own making and revealed that they will line up a team of lawyers to defend the nurses.
When contacted for a comment, the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Council acting registrar, Angella Ilakut said there is nothing personal that the body has with the summoned nurses.
“The council is a regulatory body to regulate the actions and practices of nurses and when they make any mistake they are summoned to listen to their story. It is the same reason we have summoned them,” Ilakut said.
She asked the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union president to forward his complaints to her for discussion.
“We are not calling those nurses for discipline but rather listen to their story. They are not guilty until proven guilty.”