The Ministry of Health has “fired” all striking medical interns and ordered them to leave government hospital premises within the week.
The order was issued in a letter dated December 10, 2021 that was sent to all hospital directors countrywide. The letter is signed by Dr. Henry Mwebesa, the Director General Health Services.
“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,” the letter said in part.
Mwebesa also noted that all the medical interns who went on strike will find their own way of completing their second rotation in order to be signed off.
Medical interns countrywide, through their umbrella association of the Federation for Uganda Medical Interns, announced a strike on November 6, 2021 demanding for payment of enhanced medical internship allowances.
In a meeting with government, the striking interns were assured that their allowance would be sent as soon as a supplementary budget was approved by Parliament.
Parliament approved the supplementary budget on November 19, 2021 but according to the Medical Interns Association, the interns are yet to receive their share.
Mwebesa confirmed in the letter that indeed, the medical interns had not been given these allowances yet, but only because the Ministry of Finance is yet to send this money to the Health Ministry.
Mwebesa said that government will fulfil its promise as soon this money is received, but the striking interns should not return.
“As soon as funds for 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 tine the Medical Interns went on strike,” Mwebesa noted in the later.
The medical interns were in their second and last rotation with only two months left to complete and het fully registered with their Professional Councils as medical officers, pharmacists, and nurses/midwives respectively.
This now hangs in balance, as the ministry has vowed not to sign them off.