Kampala: The Uganda Medical Association and the Federation for Uganda medical interns have instructed the Legal Aid Clinic of the Centre for Health, Human Rights & Development (CEHURD) to sue the Director-General of Health Services, Dr. Henry G. Mwebesa together with the Ministry of Health over the decision by the government to fire them after their industrial action that kicked off last month.
The move follows heated disagreements between the interns, the Ministry of Health and the government after failing to full fil their demands.
The Medical interns have further been dissatisfied with the way their plight has been habitual, taken lightly, and yet they play a pivotal role in the provision of health services in the country. In response to the interns’ strike, the Director-General of Medical Services had ordered all interns on strike to vacate the hospital premises.
In a letter served to the Office of the Director-General of Health Services, the CEHURD Legal Aid Clinic, counsel for the aggrieved interns, intimated that the Director General’s Directive to vacate hospital premises was unconstitutional, wanton and unacceptable in a free and democratic society.
They further implored the Director-General to retract that directive within two days or be sued in the courts of law.
However, commenting on the ongoing strike, the Minister of Health Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng said the government will not in any way try to negotiate with them.
According to Aceng, interns who are not interested in “working” should go ahead and vacate hospital premises, same as those who are interested in joining them.
“We must take note that internship is a training period, it is not work and they are not public servants, so they are free to take a decision not to train it is up to them because if they don’t train, they will delay their registration period to become medical workers,” Dr. Aceng said.
“They stand to lose; it is them not us. We do not lose anything when someone does not train. My advice to them is to stop misbehaving,” Aceng added.