By Kamoga Akramu
Medical officers have launched a nationwide sit-down strike to protest the government’s non-increment of their salaries and poor working conditions.
Through their umbrella organisation Uganda Medical Association (UMA), the doctors, pharmacists, nurses, and surgeons said they will not go back to work until an enhanced salary is deposited on their accounts.
This means that patients seeking treatment in public health centres may struggle to access treatment if a solution is not found.
Dr. Samuel Odongo Oledo, UMA president said the health workers have over the past four years engaged relevant government ministries, departments, and agencies to discuss matters affecting them but the government has been making promises which have not been fulfilled.
“We cannot keep on giving a service where what we need to use is in shortage. A case in point I did over four surgeries in a specific hospital that I won’t name but I was using the same scrub over and over. We deal with lives, our business is purely saving lives, lets these be put into action and implemented,” he said.
Recently, President Museveni directed the Public Service Ministry to increase allowances and salaries of scientists, university lecturers, and health workers.
Following the directive, Odongo noted that there is continued neglect of the health sector, specifically the human capital development/health workforce.
“You will find a doctor who is attached to emergency unit, is actually using the same masks over and over and in most cases others turn out to be Covid-19 positive. Imagine that exposure. I call upon all doctors who are out there, the industrial action will be implemented
The ministry of Health spokesperson Emmanuel, Ainebyoona however called upon the doctors to calm down, adding that the government is addressing their issues.