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Medics body rejects move to export doctors

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Dr Margaret Mungherera (L), the president of the World Medical Association, Dr Joel Okullo (C), and Dr Ben Kiwanuka at a press conference in Kampala yesterday. PHOTO BY MICHAEL KAKUMIRIZI 

By Agatha Ayebazibwe &n Patience Ahimbisibwe

Posted  Thursday, March 20  2014 at  22:21
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Kampala.

The Medical and Dental Practitioners Council has opposed the government’s plan to export doctors to Trinidad when regional hospitals lack key health personnel.

Dr Margaret Mungherera, a council member and the president of the World Medical Association, yesterday said it would be wrong for the government to send its human resource to work abroad yet most of the facilities are lacking.

For example, she said there is no ear, nose and throat (ENT) specialist in all the 13 regional hospitals across the country.
“None of the regional hospitals has an ENT surgeon. We have to be careful when we are exporting our human resource leaving our own people to suffer,” Dr Mungherera said at a media briefing in Kampala.

The council also dismissed the World Bank report which equated Ugandan doctor to that of a Kenyan nurse, urging that other countries like Trinidad were requesting to have their services.

Meanwhile, the council has also suspended two doctors Kepher Bacwa of Kawolo Hospital and Joseph Isanga, a former medical superintendent at Kaabong Hospital.

According to the council chairman, Prof Joel Okullo Odom, Dr Bachwa was suspended for a year after he failed to discharge his duties in a professional manner while his colleague was convicted of three counts of embezzlement and subsequently sentenced to five years imprisonment.
“It was apparent that he (Dr Bacwa) had overstepped his level of competence but he was very adamant and unwilling to own up to his mistake,” Prof Odom said.

“He was a young inexperienced doctor who undertook to operate a big hernia and got lost in the process,” he added.

DOCTORS NEEDED

A statement from Foreign Affairs this week which indicated that Trinidad and Tobago wants to recruit at least 263 doctors to boost ties between the two countries.