Striking doctors threaten legal action


The striking interns who received the order from the Ministry of Health on Friday to evacuate the premises of the hospital within a week are planning to appear in court.

Dr Herbert Luswata, secretary general of the Ugandan Medical Association (UMA) said on Saturday they were calling a meeting with the leadership of the Federation of Ugandan Medical Interns to discuss the way forward. He noted, however, that they had spoken with the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) to advise on legal remedies.

In the letter signed by Dr Henry Mwebesa, Director General of Health Services, interns who have been on strike for more than a month were told that their salary arrears will be paid until the time of the strike when the Ministry of Finance releases funds.

Additionally, they are warned that they will not be signed off as having completed an internship since the next batch of interns are expected to show up in hospitals in January.

But, Luswata says the association is in talks with supervisors of interns at hospitals who also participated in the WBU-led strike.

Lillian Nabwire, president of the Medical Interns, said the government was wrong to resort to threats rather than dealing with long grievances.

She said on Sunday that they will have a meeting to lay out what they ultimately decide.

Like their elders, medical interns put down their tools on low wages, compensating families of doctors who succumbed to COVID-19 in the line of duty, working with limited tools such as sundries and equipment personal protection in addition to the constant stockouts of drugs in hospitals.

Meanwhile, the Dentists’ Association and the Medical Laboratory Professionals Association have also given strike notice over similar grievances.

However, no deal has been reached with the government so far despite numerous meetings with the president, health ministry officials and parliament.

Luswata says they should have another meeting with the prime minister next week URN

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