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Medical interns call off strike as negotiations start

Medical interns demonstrate over poor working conditions. File Photo

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Medical interns under their umbrella organization Federation of Uganda Medical Interns (FUMI) have called off their nation wide strike.

The interns went on strike over poor working conditions on May 17th, 2021, and had promised not to resume work unless their demands were met. The interns wanted government to increase their allowances to Shs 3 million from Shs 900,000. They also wanted government to provide accommodation for them.

Now following an engagement with the ministry of health, the leadership of FUMI has decided to call off the strike.

According to a statement signed by the FUMI President, Dr. Lillian Mary Nabwire, they have decided to go back to work as a committee engaged with the health ministry and the prime minister to get a supplementary budget passed.

“Following meetings with medical interns, UMA leadership and the ministry of health, it unanimously agreed to suspend the strike in the best interest of our patients and careers as negotiations for enhanced pay go on,” said Dr. Nabwire.

The decision to call off the strike comes following the formation of a committee comprised of medical interns, members of the Uganda Medical Association and ministry of health officials.

The committee is supposed to have negotiations with the Prime minister’s office so that a supplementary budget can be passed to address the issue of allowances.

Last week during a meeting, the permanent secretary of the ministry of health Dr. Diana Atwine urged the interns to go back to work as negotiations with the finance ministry are ongoing. Dr. Atwine intimated that the next lot of interns would be the beneficiaries of the negotiations though.

The ten day strike left many hospitals stranded with no human resource, as interns form 80 percent of the work force. At some of the hospitals that Uganda Radio Network (URN) visited, patients seeking specialised services such as dialysis could not due to the strike.

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