Doctors demand special Parliament sitting to discuss health sector

Uganda Medical Association (UMA) president-elect, Dr Samuel Odongo Oledo (seated, centre), addresses a press conference in Kampala. PHOTO/ISAAC KASAMANI

What you need to know:

  • On the issue of increment of doctor’s salary, Dr Oledo said the doctors’  strike will continue until the government fulfills its pledge on their welfare

The Uganda Medical Association (UMA) president, Dr Samuel Oledo,  has urged Parliament to organise a special sitting to discuss doctors’ salary increment among others issues in the health sector.
Dr Oledo made the remark during a press conference in Kampala yesterday.
He said among the issues that Parliament should discuss is the recruitment of health workers because there are many trained health workers who are not employed, yet health facilities in the country have staff shortages.
“This year alone, the Ministry of Health returned more than Shs80b to the government treasury. What kind of frustration is this?” Dr Oledo said.

He said if the government delivers what it pledged, the quality of health services will drastically improve.
On the issue of increment of doctor’s salary, Dr Oledo said the doctors’  strike will continue until the government fulfils its pledge on their welfare. 
This is contrary to last week’s communication from the association where the doctors had promised to call off the strike after meeting President Museveni.

“The President has given a green light to have the doctors get their salary increment, but Parliament and the Executive have failed to implement the order. So Parliament, where are you?” Dr  Oledo asked.
Dr Warren Tumwine, an executive member of the UMA, asked the government to deliver on its promise because the pledge has taken long to be fulfilled.
He also asked politicians to stop sideling scientists because they contribute a lot to the country’s economic development.

Doctors’ concerns
The doctors’ concerns range from lack of employment for their qualified colleagues, delayed promotions in government hospitals, lack of personal protection equipment (PPEs), welfare and remuneration, among others.
The UMA said in the government commitment, the salary of medical officers will be increased to Shs5m, senior medical consultants (Shs17m), and intern doctors (Shs2.5m). Intern doctors currently earn Shs750, 000, entry-level doctors (Shs3m) and consultants (Shs7.3m).