By our reporter
A meeting between striking doctors and government select committee has today proved fruitless after the two parties failing to walk on the same lane in terms of negotiating.
The multi-sectoral sub-committee was established by the Prime Minister Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda to review and persuade the doctors to return to work.
The meeting was attended by the Attorney General, William Byaruhanga, his deputy Mwesigwa Rukutana, health minister Dr. Jane Aceng, health ministry permanent secretary Dr. Diana Atwine and finance state minister David Bahati among others.
Addressing the doctors, the Attorney General William Byaruhanga questioned the legality of the association, saying it is not mandated to negotiate for the medical workers.
“Strike called by Uganda Medical Union is illegal. Our priority is for you to go back to work. Nominated representatives should work with Government to find a lasting solution. Nobody is denying your right to demand better pay or better working conditions. However, there is a methodology to do so,” Byaruhanga told medical workers.
However, the Uganda Medical Association (UMA) President Dr. Ekwaru Obuku said such intimidation against them must stop because they are children adding that government should be serious next time it calls them for negotiation.
“We are not children, intimidation must stop. You can do nothing to me because I don’t work for the government. I will give it to you straight and that is what I have done. Let’s address the problem and leave Obuku alone. I want to sleep at my home. Let’s be serious. Next time you call us here, call us for serious business.” Said Dr. Ekwaru.
The medical workers declared strike last week at their annual general assembly held at Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Mulago which strike has paralyzed health care services in all public hospitals across the country.
Apparently, doctors demand increment in salaries and duty allowances of health professionals, review the supply chain and management of medicines, vaccines and medical supplies, as well as disband the State House Medicine and Health Service Delivery Monitoring Unit.
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