Africa-Press – Uganda. President Museveni has reiterated government’s commitment to salary enhancement for medical practitioners and other scientists, saying the government is focused on developing Uganda using a science-led development strategy.
The President made the promise on Tuesday while meeting officials of Uganda Medical Association led by their vice president, Dr Stephen Ataro Ayella at State House Entebbe.
Others on the team included the UMA secretary general, Dr Mukuzi Muhereza, the head of medical interns, Dr Irene Nabwire, the secretary general of the Federation of Medical Interns, Dr Faith Nabugasho and the former Director General of Medical Services, Prof Francis Omaswa.
Also in attendance were the permanent secretary in the Ministry of Health, Dr Diana Atwine, and the director general of Medical Services, Dr Henry Mwebesa.
The President told the doctors that each of them will get Shs5 million as a starting salary starting July, reaffirming his earlier position.
Currently, an intern gets Shs940,000 gross salary, a medical officer (Shs3m) and a senior consultant (Shs7.3m).In an earlier agreement with the medical workers, President Museveni had agreed to pay professors Shs15m per month; senior medical consultants (Shs17m), university lecturers (Shs12.2m), doctors (Shs5m)
He said government will continue to improve the training and remuneration budget for scientists “so that the country can be able to train and retain them since they are crucial for the development and sustainability of the country.”
President Museveni directed the National Council for Higher Education to advise government on the type of scientists the country needs most and ensure those are the ones institutions of higher learning produces.
The President advised the intern doctors and other health workers to desist from protests but to always take the line of dialogue when advocating for their rights. He assured them that he is always ready to engage in dialogue with the medical professionals because of the importance of their profession and services they render to the population.
Prof Omaswa, in a memorandum read on behalf of the members of Uganda Medical Association, decried the bad living condition and poor remuneration of their members, especially the intern doctors.
They attributed their poor living conditions to the inability by medical facilities to absorb the big number of medical students coming out of different institutions in the country.
They called for regulated enrolment of students in medical training institutions, with focus on the medical needs of the country.
At the meetingDemands by doctors
● Government should implement the December 2019 parliamentary recommendations for improved conditions. ● Recruit and fill all vacant posts as per the approved structures. ● Increase the number of medical officers in health centre IVs from two to four over the next five years. ● Introduce a medical officer position at health centre IIIs to serve the populations in line with the parish development model.● The salary structure agreed to be paid for doctors be implemented in the 2021/2022 financial year.● Balance of Shs4 million pledged by the President be fulfilled immediately.
● National Council for Higher Education to regulate intake and accredit courses relevant to need.● A taskforce under the Office of the Prime Minister be established immediately and to review medical school training.● Expressed disappointment about the conditions of internship training and promised to act. ● Gave a directive that medical interns are paid at least half of the recommended pay of their officers in the different professional cadres starting July.● Based on WHO recommendation of doctor patient ratio, all doctors be absorbed to work at the different levels. The salaries have to be benchmarked with the region.