Medical interns vow to lay down tools over poor pay

Intern doctors across the country will beginning Monday 17 May, 2021 lay down their tools, if the issue of their pay is not rectified.

According to a statement issued by the Federation for Uganda Medical Interns (FUMI), government has not honoured the promise of increasing their gross pay to Shs 3 million.

Currently, each medical intern earns Shs. 950,000 per month.

Dr. Mary Lilian Nabwire, the President of FUMI said in a statement that medical interns presented a petition to the office of the Speaker on September 30, 2019, asking for an increase in the gross payments of intern doctors.

Dr. Nabwire said that the petition was also presented to the committee of Parliament on Health on October 25, 2019 as per the speaker's recommendation, and the committee passed and recommended the increase, which has not been implemented.

"Following our petition, Parliament, in the committee of Health Policy Statement Report of FY 2019/20 recommended that the gross pay for medical intern Doctors be raised to Shs. 3 million and that of graduate nurses to be raised to a gross pay of Shs. 2.2 million respectively, starting FY 2020/21," Dr. Nabwire said.

"Unfortunately, Ministry of Finance did not implement this and up to date."

Dr. Nabwire said that earlier on, they had been informed that their issues were included in the National Budget draft that was discussed but on May 8, 2021, they received the news that their Shs 35 billion which was recommended by Parliament was not added to the final budget for the financial year 2021/22.

She said that despite numerous presidential promises and pledges to increase salaries for health workers / scientists, their suggestions and requests have continued to be sidelined and this is why they have decided to put down tools next week.

"It has also got our notice that the general ministry of Health budget was cut this financial year. It is on this basis that we as medical interns, following our meeting dated 9/5/2021,have decided to go on a sit down strike starting May 17, 2021, until the increment of the medical interns' salary that was recommended is included in the National Budget for the FY 2021/22," Dr. Nabwire said.

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