Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Medical records practitioners under their umbrella body, Uganda Medical Records and Health Informatics Professional’s Association-UMRHIPA are in the next line of protesters over salary.
The records officers are bitter over what they describe as discrimination in the health sector. They complain that while their colleagues in hospitals have received salary enhancements, records officers have been left out. David Assimwe Sega, the President UMRHIPA, says that they have been left with no option other than resorting to the ‘obvious’ ways to demand for their rights.
He explains that much as they have written several letters to Ministry of Health, outlining their plight, no response has been given by the responsible authorities. According to Asimwe, medical records assistants earn only shillings 370,000 per month while medical records officers and senior officer part with Shillings 620,000 and 730,000 respectively.
He argues that the biostats, who do similar work were instead considered from Shillings 930,000 in as monthly net pay to Shillings 1.7 million in last year’s salary enhancements for health workers. Asimwe revealed that although some of their colleagues in medical records received salary enhancement last financial year, it lasted only two months.
“Some of our colleagues received additional monies in July and August last year, but was instead chopped in September, and up to now, no explanation has been given. This is unfair to us who keep all the medical records in hospitals”, he said on phone.
In the last letter written and received by the Ministry of Health in September 12th, the records officers warn that there will be no submission of weekly epidemiological surveillance, monthly reports [HMIS 105, HMIS108]; quarterly reports [HMIS 106a, HMIS 106b] and annual reports [HMIS 107] among others starting December 1st, 2019 if their issues are not addressed.
The letter also warns that medical records professionals will lay down tools across the country from December to express their grievances. “We shall commence with our plan B, if our concerns are not important to your office and if it is true that your office is not ready to officially communicate back to us”, part of the letter, addressed to the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health reads.
Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Senior Public Relations Officer in Ministry of Health declined to comment on the matter when asked.