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Medics Meet Kadaga over Strike

Doctors under the Uganda Medical Association (UMA) have Thursday met the Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga over the promises made to them by government.

The health workers through the association president, Anthony Obuku Ekwaro recently issued a circular threating resumption of their sit down strike starting December 16th if government doesn’t fulfill these promises.

UMA members told Kadaga that while they had made some progress with government, a number of other promises are yet to be fulfilled.

“As the leadership of UMA, we had five key resolutions with the Prime Minister and other members of cabinet and we have made progress on some of them, while in some cases there is threatened progress,” Obuku said.

The doctors mainly wanted government to increase their pay, which it has committed; stock government hospitals and disband the President’s Health Monitoring Unit.

Obuku said that since the engagement, they have been notified that the National Medical Stores made considerable deliveries to some health facilities including Kawempe and Kirudu Hospitals.

On the Health Monitoring unit, the doctors told the Speaker that they have submitted a report to the Minister of Security and shall in the course of the week submit proposals on how the Unit should be handled.

“Of coarse the best for us is to shut it down and the function and the money to be given to Medical and Dental Practitioners Council or strengthen the quality assurance department,” Obuku noted.

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On the Shs41bn supplementary budget, Obuku said they had learnt that this would come sometime in January when parliament has reconstituted itself for another session

“The Senior House Officers (SHOs) were not paid for now five times, but considerable work has been done though others in some hospitals like Nsambya and Kololo were left out yet as medics we don’t discriminate which was an issue that was drawing us back to the consider industrial action.”

In her response, the Speaker informed the health workers that the issues of health have been prioritized by the house and will always give the necessary support.

“I just want to assure you that we are going to continue the struggle for this Shs41bn. I called the Minister yesterday and I told them I want to see this money; we are with you and shall continue to give you the necessary support to see that these things are improved,” Kadaga said.

Obuku later revealed that part of their team led by the Secretary General are meeting the government team at the office of the Prime Minister with hope of establishing that every SHO is paid as was the resolution made.

“As doctors we think we have made process and we believe our calling is not striking but to save lives, Ugandans will expect that we will continue offering services pending today’s meeting with government.”

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