The proposal to increase the retirement age of civil servants will only affect medical workers, the Ministry of Public Service has clarified.
State owned New Vision on Thursday, July 18, published a story titled ‘Government to raise retirement age’ in which it alleged that retirement age for all civil servants would be raised to 70.
The current retirement age is 60 years.
On Friday, Public Service minister Wilson Mululi Mukasa refuted the story and said the provision is only for civil servants in the health sector.
According to the minister, the Public Service has standing orders and several regulations that are specific to every professional cadres and institutions and such orders spell terms and conditions of service for all public officers.
“This proposal will only work in the health sector in order to maintain relevance to the rapidly transforming Public services where medical specialists beyond the mandatory retirement age of 60 years will be re-employed,” he told journalists at the Uganda Media Centre.
Mukasa added that other sectors don’t have a problem of inadequately skilled labour, unlike the health sector which is facing it in every department.
“That is why this new policy is going to work on professional cadres such as Oncologists, Hematologists, Anesthesiasts, Psychiatrists, Cardiologists, Pathologists, Neuro-Surgeons among others,” Mukasa explained.
According to Catherine B. Musingwiire, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Public Service, the main justification for the proposal of increasing retirement age for medical workers is due to rapid population growth against the slower growth of productions of medical specialists.
“Health workers are few and when they retire from here they go in our neighbouring countries and do the same jobs so it’s better to re-employ them here because we are facing a scarcity problem of skilled health personnel,” she said, adding that if Uganda is to advance her health care system, gaps in skills must be filled.
Currently, according to statistics from the Ministry of Health out of 688 approved positions of medical specialists only 339 positions (49 per cent of the approved structure) are filled.
The re-employed medical officers will work on a contract basis where each contract will have a duration of three years. They will be eligible for to a maximum of three contracts depending assessment report by the medical board.