Uganda Medical Association in Support of Intern Doctors’ Strike

UMA and FUMI leaders addressing journalists in Kampala.

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Uganda Medical Association (UMA), a body that brings together all qualified and duly registered medical doctors in the country is in support of the ongoing strike by Intern doctors.

The Association said on Sunday that the strike should continue until government heeds onto their demands.  

On May 17th 2021, the Intern doctors under their umbrella Federation for Uganda Medical Interns (FUMI) laid down their tools stating that the government had failed to improve on their welfare and they are currently working and living under poor conditions.  

According to a statement that was released by FUMI President, Dr. Lillian Nabwire, they are currently earning 960,000 shillings which they want increased up to 3 million shillings for them to live a descent life.

However, addressing journalists on Sunday Uganda Medical Association came out to officially support the strike.  Dr. Richard Idro, the Uganda Medical Association president they are backing the interns so as to obtain decent pay and living conditions such that they can have appropriate meals and accommodation.

Dr. Idro also wants the parliamentary resolution that was made some time back to increase their allowances from 12 billion shillings to 35 billion shillings to be implemented within this coming financial year because it sought to address all their grievances related to improving on their welfare.

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According to UMA, there is also urgent need to review and overhaul all parts of medical training in Uganda because they have realized that some of the institutions for interns do not have all the necessary equipment.

As such, UMA leadership says have since petitioned the Prime Minister seeking to have an inter-ministerial body involving a number of ministers involved in a life of upbringing a medical person to see how it can be done.

They listed the Minister for Education, Minister of Health, Local government Minister, Minister of Finance, Public Service Minister, National Planning Authority officials and representatives from all the training institutions.

According to the UMA leadership, there is no coordination between Ministry of education where the medical interns are trained from, Ministry of Health where they are working, Ministry of Public Service and Local Government Ministry which absorbs them and the Finance Ministry which is supposed to give resources and this has led to untold poor working environment.

The FUMI Secretary General Dr. Faith Nabushawo has welcomed the support and called upon the interns to continue laying down their tools adding that they have sought an appointment with President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who has promised to meet them.  

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The Permanent Secretary for Ministry of Health, Dr. Diana Atwine few days ago revealed that the government has no money to meet the medical interns' allowances before advising them to resume work, finish internship and get better paying jobs.

On September 30th 2019, President Museveni directed the public service Ministry to increase the allowances of the scientists in this country but to date the directive is yet to be implemented.

However, the Public Service Ministry previously said that they were working to make sure that there is harmonization of all salary structures in various departments of government and so far, the plans are in the offing according to the former State Minister for Public Service, David Karubanga. 

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