Medical interns at Mubende Regional Referral Hospital have withdrawn their services amidst an ebola outbreak that has claimed 23 lives so far.
In a letter written to the Ministry of Health, the thirty-four interns said ebola is a serious life-threatening disease with a mortality rate of greater than 54% and this doesn’t favour smooth training of interns at the facility which is the epicentre of the outbreak.
They noted that the outbreak has reduced the number of patients in the hospital greatly and this has resulted in an immense reduction in their exposure to other conditions which are core to their internship training.
“[We] are working under limited supervision since most of our supervisors have been recruited to the task force. [We] lack of appropriate support(such) as Personal Protective Gears (PPES), risk allowance, and medical care for our colleagues previously exposed,” the letter seen by The Nile Post read.
The group also cited lack of proper health insurance coverage when the Interns are sick because they usually have to cover their treatment costs.
“We have therefore decided to withhold our duties until an emergency evacuation to other safe sites that can favour us…,”the letter reads.
Musa Lumumba, president of Federation of Uganda Medical Interns (FUMI) acknowledged receiving the letter from these interns and appealed to government to urgently address the concerns as soon as possible.
“As the leadership of the Federation for Uganda Medical Interns, a legally registered federation established to unite all medical interns, we find the above concerns pertinent and hereby ally with our colleagues at Mubende Regional Referral Hospital,” he said.
The spokesperson at the Ministry of Health Emmanuel Ainebyoona said they are working on the issues raised by the interns, adding that they should not strike.
“Yes, we acknowledge and they will have a response. We are ensuring that we counsel them such that they are able to respond because all the protective gear to safeguard their lives is available,” he said.