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Court halts new medics internship guidelines

Interns protest is Kampala recently
Interns protest in Kampala recently

The High Court in Kampala has issued an interim order  staying the implementation of new Health Ministry policy guidelines regarding internship centres and remuneration of medical interns across the country.

This means that the  current group of prospective medical doctors, dental surgeons, pharmacists and nurses should immediately be posted to their respective training centers in order to commence supervised practical training. This is a pre-requisite for registration, enrollment and certification of a qualified and recognized health professional.

A new policy that  seeks to reduce the number  of medical interns who would be admitted on the ministry’s internship programme and also  to vary their terms and conditions of service, had been announced by the Health Minister Aceng while appearing before the parliamentary Health committee on September 7 2016.

Dr. Aceng also explained to the committee that this  drastic reversal in the internship policy is what has  brought the unusual delay in posting these medical interns to their various internship and training centers countrywide.

This prompted over 1000 medical interns to sue minister Aceng and the Attorney General  to challenge the new internship policy that allegedly restricts their access to supervised practical training at various internship training centers. They also held various demonstrations over delayed payment of their remuneration.

Deputy court registrar  Alex Ajiji ruled that if the implementation of this new policy is not temporarily  stopped,  careers of over  1000 medical interns are at stake since they don’t know what Health minister ; Dr. Ruth Aceng and Government has in store for them,given the fact that they have been  summoned for a meeting at Mulago nursing home on Friday.

Registrar Ajiji said that it is against this background that he ordered that this interim order blocking the new policies remains in place until November 28 or else  their main application seeking to permanently set aside these new policy guidelines,  that has been fixed for hearing before  Justice Lydia
Mugambe shall be rendered useless.



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