While medical laboratory technicians train for four years just like other health Workers at the University, Alibu says they don't do internships something that affects the quality of services.
technicians under the Uganda Medical Lab Technology Association have put
the government on a three weeks’ notice to go on strike over compensation and recruitment.
Patrick Dennis Alibu, the Association Secretary-General said they have
since been approaching the government to recognize degree holders and
remunerate them accordingly but even those that upgraded on the job still earn
the same entry pay.
This is despite the fact that the government issued a circular in 2019 directing
accounting officers to designate in-service medical lab professionals. It
should be noted that since 1998, Makerere University has been offering a Bachelors's
Course for lab technologists even as the government does not have a position
for them in public service.
Already, the association has written to the Ministry of Public Service
informing them of the planned industrial action if among others this is not
Also, the professionals are demanding access to cheap credit
by the government offering financial support to their SACCO where they will be
paying smaller interests on loans.
Adding voice to the grievances by the doctors who are already striking, Alibu
says they also want families of technicians who got infected with COVID-19 and
Meanwhile, there are over 1,500 government laboratories across the
country right from Health Center IIIs to the National Reference labs.
Alibu says even as the medical laboratory technology arm is very vital in
disease diagnosis and Care, their training is still lacking since they don’t
conduct internships yet the degree program is four years long just like medicine
He says the association has been airing these grievances for a long but
the government has only given them a deaf ear.