Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni has met leaders of the Uganda Medical Association over the ongoing sit-down strike demanding for better working conditions.
In a statement issued by the Presidential Press Unit, Museveni reiterated his government’s commitment to salary enhancement for medical practitioners and scientists in general, saying that he is focused on developing Uganda using a science-led strategy.
Led by the UMA Vice President, Dr. Ataro Stephen Ayella, the doctors met President Museveni yesterday at State House Entebbe.
In the press statement, Museveni told the doctors that his government will continue to improve the training and remuneration budget for the scientists so that the country can be able to train and retain them for their crucial role in the development and sustainability of the country.
He called on the National Council for Higher Education to advise government on the type of scientists the country needs most and ensure that those are the ones that these institutions produce. On medical professionals, Museveni re-affirmed government’s position to paying doctors Shs 5 million as their starting salary and also proposed an enhanced pay for intern doctors.
He advised the intern doctors and other health workers to always take the line of dialogue when advocating for their rights and assured them that he is always ready to engage in dialogue with the medical professionals because of the importance of their profession and service they render to the population.
In their memorandum read by Prof. Francis Omaswa, Members of UMA decried the bad living conditions and poor remuneration of their members especially the intern doctors. They attributed it to the inability by medical facilities to absorb the big number of medical students coming out of different Universities in the country. They called for regulated enrollment of students in medical training institutions with focus on the medical needs of the country.
The meeting was also attended by UMA Secretary General Dr. Mukuzi Muhereza, the head of medical interns Dr. Irene Nabwire and the Secretary General of the Federation of Medical Interns, Dr. Faith Nabugasho. On the government side, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health Dr. Diana Atwine and the Director General of medical services Dr. Henry Mwebesa also attended the meeting.