Dental practitioners plead with doctors to reconsider emergency services

Dental practitioners, under their umbrella body Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council (UMDPC) have called upon fellow doctors under the Uganda Medical Association (UMA) to rescind their decision on withdrawing emergency services.

The UMA through their chairperson, Dr Ekwaru Obuku on November 10 announced they were withdrawing emergency services citing threats from Minister of Health, Ruth Aceng.

It was not long until the Medical Interns also laid down their tools, demanding Shs 2.5m allowances and consequently withdrawing the emergency services.

The Minister had threatened disciplinary action to all those perpetrating the industrial action and even with the help of the office of the president instructed RDC’s to monitor doctors on duty.

Now the UMDPC has joined in to plead with fellow doctors to return emergency services citing safety for patients as a core duty for doctors.

“Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council (UMDPC) is aware of the ongoing strike organized by Uganda Medical Association (UMA). Council is also aware that UMA leadership has had meetings with authorities in government and more importantly with His Excellency the President. We are informed that government is in the process of addressing the concerns raised by UMA. We take cognizance of the advice given by Solicitor General regarding the ongoing strike and its legality which was communicated to you by the Minister of Health. The Council is much concerned with the safety of the patients which is core to the duty of doctors in any establishment.  We have learnt with concern from the Press 10th November 2017 that UMA is now planning to withdraw emergency care,” a statement from UMDP chairperson Okullo Joel reads in part.

“UMDPC wishes to remind you of the professional responsibility of a doctor as stated in the Code of Professional Conduct and specifically Section 8(1) which states that a practitioner shall not deny emergency treatment or health care to a patient. Premised on that section of the code of conduct, it is an act of professional misconduct if a professional denies emergency care to a patient,” the statement continues.

Mr Okullo further appeals to doctors to uphold the principles that govern this noble profession.

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