Medical doctors will resume their strike at midnight on Monday following failed negotiations with government. The doctors resolved to resume their strike at their extra ordinary meeting held in Davis Lecture Theatre (DLT) at Mulago Hospital in Kampala on Monday morning.
During the heated meeting convened under their umbrella, Uganda Medical Association (UMA), the medics accused government of lack of seriousness to address their demands, which include among other things, an almost 100 per cent rise, their allowances, housing and transport allowance.
The doctors want the government to increase salaries of medical interns from Shillings 960,000 to Shillings 8.5 million. They also want medical assistants and teaching assistants to earn Shillings 15 million, get a two-bedroom house and a 2.5cc vehicle. They also want the government to pay a senior consultant doctor or professor Shillings 48m including allowances; provide a five-bedroom house, 4.0cc vehicle and three domestic workers.
Apparently, a senior consultant doctor earns about Shs3.4 million, consultant Shs2.6m, and a medical officer Shs1.1 million. Prior to the resolution by the medics, the Prime Minister, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda assured them that the government was committed to improving their welfare following a meeting between President Yoweri Museveni and their representatives in Mid-October.
Rugunda asked the medics to suspend their industrial action pending another meeting with the president, but the medics booed him down.
As a result, Dr. Mukuzi Muhereza, the General Secretary UMA outlined the guidelines for their industrial action. “On Monday November 6th at midnight Uganda Medical Association and all medical workers will stay away from their work stations,” he said.
Adding that, “All out care departments will be closed and all non-emergency operations suspended.” He asked the medical workers to work as a team and keep everyone in the loop to ensure they are clear about the objectives of the industrial action.
Dr. Ekwaro Obuku, the President Uganda Medical Association, said they would only stop their struggle for better welfare that dates back to 1996 when they get tangible results from government.