Batuwa Timothy Lusala, the Shadow Minister for Health said that the government has not done much to address their doctors' complaints.
The strike began on November 22, after the government failed to fulfil many of its promises to medics, as made in 2017 during a similar strike. The doctors want the government to increase their salaries to 5 million Shillings, increase medical human resources and compensate health workers who succumbed to COVID-19.
Opposition in Parliament has asked the government to treat the ongoing strike by
doctors as a matter of urgency.
Batuwa Timothy Lusala, the Shadow Minister for Health raised the issue during
the afternoon plenary sitting.
statement, the Jinja South Division West MP noted that the doctors have spent three
weeks on strike and the government has not done much to address their
“Among the things they asked are the allowances which were passed in the most
recent supplementary budget. However, they have minimum demands which when
fulfilled they will get back to work,” said Batuwa in part.
He said that it is important that the doctors get back to work considering that
the country is now faced with a new Covid variant, whose extent of damage has
not yet been ascertained.
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The doctors under the Uganda Medical Association (UMA) recently asked
parliament to address the deploring state of the health sector in the country.
They said that Parliament and government ministries are to blame for the
continued strike which has left many Ugandans stranded without medical care.
The strike began on November 22, after the government failed to fulfill many of
its promises to medics, as made in 2017 during a similar strike. The doctors
want the government to increase their salaries to 5 million Shillings, increase
medical human resources and compensate health workers who succumbed to
Since the start of the strike, the doctors have met officials from several
government ministries, Members of Parliament, and President Yoweri Museveni who
issued a series of directives in response to the demands.
The President asked the Ministries of Health, Finance, and the Office of the
Prime Minister to compensate all doctors who succumbed to COVID-19, recruit more
doctors to address the 60 percent employment gap in the health sector, ensure
that there is a 10 percent reduction in taxes paid by health workers, enforce
salary increments of doctors and procure vehicles for consultant physicians.
The President also directed that the funds given to the National Medical Stores
(NMS) be increased so that enough drugs and sundries are procured for the
country. The government was also directed to release the four billion Shillings
for the doctors SACCO, in addition to tax exemptions on cars for medical
the Minister of State for Industry told parliament that the doctors met with
the President regarding their issues and that a committee was put in place
chaired by Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja who also wrote a commitment to
ensure that the issues are handled.
Bahati informed MPs that another meeting was held on Monday to discuss the
issues that need immediate action and that the Premier is handling the matter.
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However, the Leader of Opposition, Mathias Mpuuga said that the response by Bahati
on behalf of the government is as though the matter had become private between the
Prime Minister and the doctors.
“The issues raised are in the public domain. Some of them are budgetary in
nature and parliament is the last on the budget,” said Mpuuga.
He asked that the Minister to clarify more and bring to speed parliament, the
outstanding issues that government thinks cannot be handled by leaders to make
sure that health workers go back to work and secure the country.
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The Deputy Speaker, Anita Among directed the Government Chief Whip to make sure
that the doctors are paid the money that parliament appropriated in the
supplementary budget and also report back to parliament the different measures
being put in place by the government.