Health Minister, Jane Ruth Aceng, says government will not give the medical workers a pay rise until the harmonization of the payment structure of all public servants is completed.
Medical doctors laid down their tools on Monday night to compel government to give them a pay rise and improve their welfare. They vowed not to resume work until government addresses their concerns.
The doctors want government to increase the salary of medical interns from Shillings 960,000 to Shillings 8.5 million. They also want medical and teaching assistants to earn Shillings 15 million, get a two-bedroom house and a vehicle. They also want government to pay a senior consultant doctor or professor Shillings 48m on top of allowances, provide him a five-bedroom house, vehicle and three domestic workers.
Currently, a senior consultant doctor earns about Shs3.4 million, consultant Shs2.6m, and a medical officer Shs1.1 million. The doctors also want salaries for nurses and midwives enhanced to about Shillings 6.5 million besides providing them a three-bedroomed house, 2.0cc vehicle and one domestic worker.
Aceng says government will only act once the salary harmonization process is completed. She says at the moment, they are engaging other stakeholders to resolve the strike. “Government will continue to engage all stakeholders on all the issues raised by the health workers with the view of addressing them in a holistic manner.”
She appeals to medical doctors to resume work immediately as their concerns are being addressed. But Ekwaro Obuku, the President Uganda Medical Association, says the utterances by the minister contradict what the Prime Minister told them in a closed meeting on Tuesday.
“We met with the prime minister yesterday. The ministers of health and public service were not there. Their statements contradict what was discussed and agreed upon,” he said.
According to Dr. Obuku, from their meeting they agreed to meet with president on November 17th to discuss their concerns, adding that they will sit home and wait for an appropriate response from the concerned individuals.