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Medical Association seeks compensation for COVID-19 positive health workers

Health workers put on protective gears before interacting with COVID-19 patients.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | The Uganda Medical Association wants the 27 health workers that have so far tested positive for coronavirus disease to be compensated.

Dr Richard Idro, the President of the association told Uganda Radio Network in an interview that they had written to the permanent secretaries in the Ministry of Health and that of Public Service pushing to have a pot to cater for the welfare of the health workers who are now undergoing treatment.

The health workers from Lira and Mulago hospitals among others picked the infection in the line of duty at a time when the country was striving to contain the virus which has so far infected more than 700 people in the country. They are now admitted at Entebbe General Hospital.

However, the Health Ministry Permanent Secretary Dr Diana Atwiine said there’s no new avenue for compensation that will be created but added that the government will continue paying their monthly salary and cater for their families until they recover. She didn’t specify what kind of support they are extending to the families.

But as this is happening, the Ministry of Health together with the Ministry of Gender, Labor and Social Development have come up with guidelines for occupational safety and health guidelines which will specify exact interventions and compensations one can get in case they get infected in line of duty.

Currently, aggrieved health workers that get accidents at work or get infected can only find solace in the worker’s compensation act.

For now, for health workers issues to be heard, Idro says they recently appealed to President Museveni to have them represented on the COVID-19 National Taskforce which request was granted. He says they have nominated occupational safety expert Dr Deogratious  Sekimpi for this slot although he has not yet received his appointment letter.

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