In a notice released on Friday, Dr Henry Mwebesa the Director General of Health Services revealed that medical interns who have been waiting since April have been deployed to 58 internship centres and are expected to report by Thursday next week.
The Minister of Health, Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng has refuted a statement by the Ministry of Finance regarding the release of 22.9 billion Shillings to cater for payment and deployment of 1,900 medical interns.
The Minister of State for Finance, in charge of General Duties, Henry Musasizi has told parliament that 22 billion Shillings has been released to the Ministry of Health to pay and deploy the interns.
Musasizi gave the report during the Thursday afternoon plenary sitting in which Speaker, Anita Among demanded answers about the payment and deployment of 1,900 medical interns.
Speaking to URN in an interview on Thursday, Dr Herbert Luswata the UMA General Secretary said they this morning issued a notice to pre-interns country-wide asking them not to apply as they wait for a way forward which will be agreed upon in the association meeting to be held on Saturday.
Dr. Ritah Nakitto, who only delivered last week through a caesarian section, says her complaint to be changed was rejected. She had asked to be changed from Hoima regional referral to Masaka regional referral hospital near her home.
Medical interns laid down their tools over low salaries, compensating families of doctors that succumbed to COVID-19 in line of duty, working with limited tools such as sundries and personal protective equipment in addition to constant drug stock-outs in hospitals. The doctors are also protesting the health ministry’s decision to evict all medical interns from their training health facilities.
Speaker Rebecca Kadaga’s directive followed a matter of national importance raised by Bugiri Municipality MP Asuman Basalirwa who questioned why the Ministry of Health has failed to have students for Clinical Medicine and Community Health to do their internship.
Dr. Richard Idro, the President Uganda Medical Association, says they have recommended to the Health Ministry and talked to some private hospitals to offer medical internship owing to the pressure in the government facilities.
In the new procedure, applications for internships shall no longer be received at the ministry of health headquarters. All pre-intern candidates will be expected to apply for temporary registration to respective professional councils before the end of August 2018.
Dr. Robert Lubega, the President Uganda Medical Interns says more than 800 intern doctors will not return to work to provide the much needed services until their monthly allowances for March and April are remitted.
Though the Uganda Medical Association UMA has set 8.5 million Uganda shillings as salary that must be paid to intern doctors, Robert Lubega, the president of medical intern for 2017-2018 says they have lowered their salary demands to 2.5 million as non-negotiable. The intern doctors laid down tools together with licensed doctors on November 6 pushing for better pay.
The 7.8 billion Shillings hostel will be constructed at Makanga hill near the hospital in Kabale Municipality. It is funded by the Government of Uganda through the Ministry of Health and constructed by Musuuza Building Contractors Limited.
Medical interns at Kabale regional referral hospital have gone on strike again. This is the second time in three months the interns go on strike. The 35 interns at Kabale Regional Referral Hospital last laid down their tools in November 2014 protesting delayed payment of their allowances.