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Police blocks doctors from marching to parliament

Doctors were intercepted and arrested for marching to Parliament to deliver a petition to the Speaker of Parliament.

Kampala, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | Police on Wednesday blocked doctors under the Uganda Medical Association-UMA from marching to Parliament.

The doctors who include medical interns, representatives of dental pre-interns, nurses, and midwives at the Bachelor level were led by the President of UMA, Dr. Samuel Oledo. They wanted to deliver a petition to the Speaker of Parliament.

They were intercepted by police near the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development along George street in Kampala.

The doctors are also protesting the health ministry’s decision to evict all medical interns from their training health facilities.

Dr. Oledo says they want to take the matter to parliament so that it can be addressed quickly and doctors go back to work and save the lives of Ugandans.

“Doctors have found trouble to obtain documentation of the committee plans to implement the President’s directives. We have requested and communicated to the government to work on implementing the demands but we are not able to access anything,” Dr. Oledo said.

With doctors and interns on strike, medical services in hospitals are being offered by skeletal staff mostly consisting of senior health officials. Now with the pending eviction, the doctors say they will withdraw such services and leave hospitals with no doctors on call.

Dr. William Anzo, in charge of Finance and Development at UMA, says the health ministry’s decision to chase medical interns will escalate the industrial action.

“We have met government on several occasions but the industrial action will escalate if the ministry of health chases away medical interns. This will trigger the industrial action so that emergency services are withdrawn,” he said.

In addition to escalating the strike, Dr. Oledo says that the ministry’s failure to rescind their decision about medical interns will lead to legal action.

“This act is not only illegal but also mistreatment and abuse of the medical profession as a whole and an unprecedented abuse. The rescinding of those orders by the Ministry of Health and the Director-General if not done will culminate in the addressing of this issue and other related matters through courts of law,” he said.

UMA is being represented by the Center for Health, Human Rights, and Development(CEHURD). CEHURD had already written to the health ministry asking demanding they stop the eviction order.



One comment

  1. Seems the Muppets in Government are ignorant of the value of these Medics. Let them lay down their tools and we see… Evicting Interns will lead to a total Shutdown. Somewhat akin to shooting oneself in the head cos of a headache.

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