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UMA Raises Concern About Delays to Pay Covid-19 Risk Allowances to Medics

Dr Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, admitted that health workers in some treatment units had not been paid due to lack of funds.
Lira Covid 19 Treatment Center

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The Uganda Medical Association has raised concerns about the failure by the government to pay medics the COVID-19 risk allowances. 

According to UMA, health workers at different covid-19 treatment centers like in Gulu, Moroto, Lira, Jinja and Iganga have not been paid the mandated risk allowance of 80,000 Shillings per day and refreshment allowance of 15,000 shillings per day, since September.

Dr Mukuzi Muhereza, the Secretary-General of the Uganda Medical Association, says government’s failure to pay the allowances is exposing health workers to the infections.

“The lack of pay is not good, and we condemn it. This stresses health workers, and at the end of the day, even when they wear those bodysuits, they are bound to make mistakes, and this endangers their lives,” Dr Muhereza said.

Dr Diana Atwine, the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Health, admitted that health workers in some treatment units had not been paid due to lack of funds. She, however, says that they are processing the allowances. She declined to give a specific number of affected health workers.

“We could not pay them because we did not have money to do so. But they should not be worried because yesterday the ministry of finance released money for their allowances and we shall be working on paying them today. Everyone who has not been paid should expect pay anytime from now,” Atwine explained.

At the covid-19 treatment center in Lira Regional Referral Hospital, two front line workers laid down their tools due to unpaid allowances. The two are part of the eight health workers who were working in the treatment center.

They are tasked with monitoring the patient's conditions for proper care, counselling the clients and ensuring that they receive the recommended medical treatment.

Dr Edmond Acheka, the Acting DHO, says that the remaining six workers are threatening to lay down their tools.

//Cue in: “The front line…

Cue out: … a big challenge.”//

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