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Doctors Put Gov’t on Fresh Notice of 100 Days of Industrial Action

Ugandan doctors have issued yet a fresh ultimatum to government to fulfill its commitment to address their concerns or face “100 days of industrial action in full force.”

Government on Monday said it would soon release a new and comprehensive salary structure for all public servants including doctors.

The doctors are protesting over poor pay, lack of medicine, vaccines and emergency equipment at their places of work as well as harassment and frequent arrest of their colleagues by State House Monitoring Unit.

In a brief note to ChimpReports on Tuesday morning, Uganda Medical Association boss Dr Ekwaru Obuku said doctors and Cabinet on November 20 agreed on the ‘minimum irreducible demands’ which are yet to be fully addressed.

He said government is adamant on rolling out a Shs 41bn supplementary budget for medical supplies and a policy on senior health officers in 30 days.

Obuku said some of the unresolved issues would “automatically trigger full scale industrial action at exactly midnight of 16th December 2017.”

An unknown number of patients died during the industrial action that left the health sector paralyzed.

The doctors have since been criticized for endangering patients’ lives which they took oath to protect.

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The Health Monitoring Unit boss, Dr Jackson Abusu Ojera states actions of the doctors’ association are “grossly misleading and frivolous,” adding, they “undermine public confidence in the healthcare sector and by implication – medical profession.”

Abusu further said the “salary demands of raising emoluments of a doctor up o the tune of Shs 48m is simply unsustainable for a developing country like Uganda.”

He further assured Obuku to be mindful of the “country’s resource capacity and not hold the treasury at ransom.”

But Obuku appeal to the responsible authorities at Ministry of Health and National Medical Stores to stick to the plan and do whatever is necessary and sufficient to avert this 100 days full scale industrial action by doctors.”

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