Breaking

Medical Health Records Officers Call Off Strike

Top story
Tom Baker, the president Uganda Medical Records & Health Informatics Professionals told URN that they have given government until January 3, 2020 to address their demands.
The strike has been called off until January,2020
Medical records officers under their umbrella Uganda Medical Records & Health Informatics Professionals-UMRHIP have called off their industrial action after striking a compromise with the Health Ministry. The Medical records officers laid down their tools on Sunday to protest poor pay.

The strike followed the expiry of a month long ultimatum announced by the Medical records officers in September 2019 for the health ministry to give them a pay rise. The records officers want government to increase their pay as directed by President Yoweri Museveni.    

However, David Asimwe Sega, the vice president Uganda Medical Records & Health Informatics Professionals says that they decided to call off the strike after receiving communication from the health ministry in regard to their grievances.

"The permanent secretary and commissioner in charge of our field wrote to us and informed us that they were addressing our demands.  We decided to give them time," Asimwe said. According to the leadership of Uganda Medical Records & Health Informatics Professionals, they want the Health Ministry to enhance salary increment across all cadres.  

Asimwe says following the enhancement of salaries for all medical workers during the 2018/2019 financial year, they only received 19 percent increment that has since stopped. "After the increase records assistants were earning Shillings 620,000 from Shillings 420,000 while records officers got Shillings 1.7 million from Shillings 620,000. However, this money was only paid for two months and it stopped.  

Previous attempts to get it resolved by the Health Ministry have come out empty," Asimwe explained. Records from the association show that records officers in five districts across the country are still earning the enhanced salary. 

These include the records officers in; Kampala working at KCCA health facilities, Kitgum, Koboko, Kiboga and Wakiso districts. Tom Baker, the president Uganda Medical Records & Health Informatics Professionals told URN that they have given government until January 3, 2020 to address their demands.  

"They told us that they were still engaging ministry management about our demands. Striking is the last resort so we decided to give them time as they engage but our demands still stand. If we don't hear from them by the end of December, we shall go ahead with our strike as planned,"Baker said. 

 

When URN visited Mulago National Referral Hospital, the records office was open and functional. Simon Otim, an officer in the records office, said they want government to recognize them for their work.  "We study hard to occupy these offices. For us to get to these offices here one needs to have a bachelor in Medical Records & Health Informatics, which is not easy," Otim said.

Paul Mbaka, the Commissioner in charge of the Division for Health Information at the Health Ministry declined to comment on the matter when contacted by URN. "I do not want to release any information about the strike. I do not have the authority to do so," Mbaka said.