Dozens of doctors at Mbarara Regional Referral Hospital and medical practitioners this morning went on a sit down strike, shop protesting their unpaid salaries they are owed by Mbarara University of Science Technology (MUST).
These previously worked under the university, before Mbarara Hospital was taken over the Ministry of Health over a decade ago.
Mbarara University used to be run by Mbarara Hospital since it was established in 1989. Both institutions were under same management, so much so that the university Vice Chancellor was also the Hospital overall in-charge.
In 2005, Ministry of Health decided to take over management of the Hospital.
Before this however, all medical workers at the institution were given a salary increment.
The salary enhancement didn’t come in one go, and therefore it became arrears. The Hospital staff members that left the university and went with Ministry of Health didn’t get their share, as well as those that left the institution before 2005.
In 2014 as the university was about to celebrate its silver jubilee, President Yoweri Museveni ordered that all arrears to be paid to all staff. Those that remained under university management were paid their arrears totaling over 1.4billion.
The rest now under Ministry of Health say they have since the time been pushing for their arrears totaling 604million shillings.
This morning at Mbarara Hospital this affected group of 216 medical workers laid down their tools.
One of these, Godfrey Masette, a scientific officer at the Hospital, told us the university promised many time to pay them, and asked them to present their bank documents and IDs.
He says the University secretary, Lawrence Mujuni Mpitsi called them late last year and confirmed that their money was ready but they have never heard from him since.
Speaking to Chimpreports, MUST Public Relations officer Denis Lukaya said this matter is pertinent and needs immediate attention. He said the university would meet them later today.
The angry medical staff had earlier stormed the RDC’s office in December last year and the DISO Robert Namanya promised to extend their voice to the president but up to now they have never been paid.
The medics vowed to camp at the administration block of their university until their money is paid