We Can Replace All Of You: Museveni Fires All Striking Medical Workers

By Ugandaonline

Kampala; President Yoweri Museveni has fired all striking intern doctors and ordered them to vacate hospitals and houses they have been occupying.

Medical workers countrywide went on strike weeks ago demanding a raise in salary and health insurance with some saying they lack medical supplies and personal protection equipment in their line of duties.

While meeting the doctors under their umbrella body, Uganda Medical Association (UMA), on Wednesday, 8 December 2021, MPs on the Health Committee asked the medics to exercise patience while the government looks into their demands.

In a letter dated December 10, Dr Henry G Mwebesa, the Director-General of Health Services at the Ministry of Health (MoH) has informed all Hospital Directors, Medical Superintendents, and Medical Internship Training Sites that the Ministry of Health Top Management has decided to fire all striking interns.

“All Medical Interns on strike vacate the Hospital premises within one week of the date of this letter to pave way for the new Medical Interns that are due to start in the year 2022. All those who went on strike will find their own way of completing their second rotation in order to be signed off,” said Dr Mwebesa.

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“As soon as funds for the enhancement of Medical Interns’ allowances are released by Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Ministry of Health will pay their arrears up to the time the Medical Interns went on strike.”


The director-general of health services has further told all Hospital Directors, Medical Superintendents and Medical Internship Training Sites to “effect the above directives immediately.”

Medical workers countrywide went on strike weeks ago demanding a raise in salary and health insurance with some saying they lack medical supplies and personal protection equipment in their line of duties.

While meeting the doctors under their umbrella body, Uganda Medical Association (UMA), on Wednesday, 8 December 2021, MPs on the Health Committee asked the medics to exercise patience while the government looks into their demands.

Obongi County MP, George Bhoka Didi, noted that while Parliament approved a supplementary budget to facilitate medical workers, its implementation would take a while.

“Salary increment is a genuine demand and I have been a victim of the meager pay while still in the practice. My prayer is that the doctors resume work based on the core value to save humanity and lives,” he said

Committee Vice-Chairperson, Joel Ssebikaali, reassured the doctors that the government’s commitment to ensure enhanced remuneration of medical workers is a work in progress and will eventually be implemented but the medical workers rejected the proposal saying their industrial action continues until their demands are implemented.

The Chairperson of Uganda Medical Association in charge of welfare, Dr. Aaron Nahabwe, said as medical workers enter day 15 of industrial action, they would not resume work until the supplementary budget is implemented.

“I work in Mulago Hospital and I buy my own masks and yet we are told that the supplementary budget was passed. We need the presidential directive implemented,” he said.

Regarding filling vacant positions in government health facilities, Nahabwe said that the minimum demand is that an advert is published by the health service commission.

The Deputy Secretary-General UMA and Secretary-General of the Federation of Uganda Medical Interns, Dr. Faith Nabushawo, said intern doctors are subjected to working long hours and they no longer receive pay.

Commenting on the interns’ pay, the Secretary-General UMA, Dr. Herbert Luswata said they are avoiding a repeat of what happened in 2019 when a supplementary budget was passed and remuneration of interns included but to date, no money has been paid.

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