Striking doctors start talks with government

Striking doctors start talks with government
Eazzy Banking

Uganda Medical Association who had threatened to withdraw emergency services today (Monday, 13) instead will start negotiations to stop their strike.

This comes after the health minister Dr Jane Acheng ordered the striking medical doctors to return to work today with RDCs asked to carry out roll call in public hospitals.

At the weekend while addressing a news conference, the association president Dr.Ekwaru Obuku has described the minister’s statement as irresponsible.

He has also threatened to summon the minister to appear before the association’s disciplinary committee, because she is a member.

Obuku adds that if the government fails to address issues affecting the medical workers by today they will force to stop handling emergency cases.

Meanwhile, Dr. Ekwaro maintains that the strike will continue until they meet the president on November 17th.

Currently, a doctor takes home an average of Shs 1.1 million per month. At Kampala Capital City Authority, a lower-level director earns Shs 17 million yet a senior consultant at National Referral Hospital Mulago earns just Shs 3.5 million.

The doctor-to-patient ratio in Uganda is among the worst in the world with 32,000 for every available doctor.

“The Ugandan doctor is not valued by [his/her] government; that’s why many are running to other African countries for greener pastures,” Obuku told us. “Leading countries taking Ugandan doctors are Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania and South Africa. South Sudan is also taking more doctors from Uganda.”

About 65 per cent of the country’s medical workers are working for NGOs, mostly in HIV-related projects, leaving public health care severely understaffed.

“We are spending much more money in private health insurance schemes for State House, cabinet, statutory authorities,” Obuku said.



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