The Uganda Medical Association (UMA) has asked Parliament to push for salary increment for doctors and other scientists as directed by President Yoweri Museveni.
Citing a Presidential letter and the President’s public addresses on Covid-19, Dr. Richard Idro, the President of the Association said there is need to have the increment to shs5 million and shs2.5 million for doctors and interns respectively.
Idro said Parliament is better placed to materialize these directives through a supplementary budget.
“We are not very many; you can start with the budget for next financial year and cause a supplementary budget to effect the presidential directive on salary increment. It is within your power,” Idro said.
Idro said the plight of medical workers has often been ignored, a reason medics have threatened to lay down their tools by November 2021 if government does address the issues affecting the practice.
“The state of doctors in Uganda is a shame; our pay is poor that we are ashamed to talk of how much we earn. We have been reduced to rioters because if people cannot sit down and talk, then there will be a strike,” said Idro.
He said among the pressing issues, the association wants government to urgently address accommodation especially intern doctors, who he said have been raped and murdered because of night movements.
The paradox of unemployment of medical doctors and so many vacant positions in the health facilities, Idro said is also of a great concern to the association.
“We conducted a survey and there are 700 medical students about to graduate. There will be 1000 doctors ready for deployment. Why are we starving in the presence of plenty?” Idro asked.
Luuka District Woman MP, Esther Mbayo said the plight of medical workers is partly associated with the rift among different players in the sector and called on UMA to fight and bridge the differences if they are to move government to action.
“Each party in the health sector comes here with their own issues. This is what is complicating everything; let us speak with one voice,” said Mbayo.
Dr Bayiga Lulume (DP, Buikwe South County) said the Committee on Health should look out for the priority areas affecting sector.
He highlighted the high unemployment rate among medical workers yet many health facilities have vacant positions.
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