After close to one month of striking,doctors under the Uganda Medical Association (UMA) have unanimously agreed to resume normal operations on Thursday this week.
On November 22,2021,over 2000 public health workers nationwide launched a sit down in protest of the government’s failure to fulfill its promises to improve their welfare. These include doctors, consultants, medical interns and pharmacists.
The strike was pertaining to human capital development, delayed salary enhancement, compensation of doctors who succumbed to Covid 19 while on duty, poor working conditions characterized by chronic shortage of medical supplies and technologies such as Personal Protection Equipment, gloves among others
Prior to that on November 06, intern doctors under Federation of Uganda Medical Interns -FUMI laid down their tools citing unpaid allowances,poor pay and miserable accommodation among others.
In a press briefing on Wednesday afternoon, Dr. Samuel Oledo, UMA President announced that the strike has been called off after the government committed to resolving their grievances.
Oledo says the government will gradually increase salaries, employ more staff, compensate families of doctors who succumbed to COVID-19 and restock hospitals with all the necessary PPE’s and technologies.
He said effective July 2021,doctors will receive 5 million Shillings monthly, get tax free vehicles among others.
“We have joy on our faces,indicating that we have absolute assurance to Ugandans ,we are grateful that this has been put to effect,we have a task force with seven members of the association that we expect to work with the Prime Minister to address the matters,”he said
UMA says the seven members will seat on committee that will negotiate with for families of the 85 health workers that died on duty.
Among the resolutions,junior doctors will earn 5million Shillings, pharmacists 4.8 million Shillings, Consultants 17million Shillings. Asenior consultant will earn 20million Shillings together with a perk of a chauffeur driven car.
On September, 30th 2019, the President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni directed the Public Service Ministry to increase allowances and salaries of scientists, University lecturers and health workers.
According to the directive which was also accompanied by a parliamentary resolution made some time back, the allowances of health workers were supposed to be increased from 12 billion shillings to 35 billion shillings per financial year and this was meant to address all their grievances related to improving on their welfare and salaries.
By Rashidah Nakaayi