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Lab technicians put gov’t on strike notice


Laboratory technicians at work.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Laboratory technicians under the Uganda Medical Lab Technology Association, have put the government on a three weeks’ notice to go on strike over compensation and recruitment.

Patrick Dennis Alibu, the Association Secretary-General said they have since been approaching the government to recognize degree holders and remunerate them accordingly, but even those that upgraded on the job still earn the same entry pay.

This is despite the fact that the government issued a circular in 2019 directing accounting officers to designate in-service medical lab professionals. It should be noted that since 1998, Makerere University has been offering a Bachelors’s course for lab technologists even as the government does not have a position for them in public service.

Already, the association has written to the Ministry of Public Service informing them of the planned industrial action if among others this is not sorted.

Also, the professionals are demanding access to cheap credit by the government offering financial support to their SACCO where they will be paying smaller interests on loans.

Adding voice to the grievances by the doctors who are already striking, Alibu says they also want families of technicians who got infected with COVID-19 and succumbed to it compensated.

Meanwhile, there are over 1,500 government laboratories across the country right from Health Center IIIs to the National Reference labs.

Alibu says even as the medical laboratory technology arm is very vital in disease diagnosis and care, their training is still lacking since they don’t conduct internships yet the degree program is four years long just like medicine and nursing.

He says the association has been airing these grievances for long, but the government has only given them a deaf ear.



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