Medics under the Uganda Medical Association (UMA) have highlighted several achievements that they have so far achieved following the November 2017 industrial action.
This was during a press conference in Kampala addressed by UMA President, Dr. Ekwaro. A. Obuku who appreciated President Museveni and Government for increase in health sector budget for financial year 2018/19.
The November 2017 Medics strike that lasted for more than two weeks was among others aimed at calling upon government to address the poor remuneration of health workers and Medical Interns, increase of medicines and medical supplies in hospitals and the ill-treatment by the State House Health monitoring unit.
“The Doctors of Uganda would like to extend our sincere gratitude to HE Yoweri Museveni for directing that Ministry of Finance to allocate an increase in the health sector budget to cover the higher wage bill due to the salary increase for health care workers,” Obuku said.
Obuku said that the salary for an entry level doctor has now gone up by at least 250% and that of Seniors by 40%.
The Senior consultant will by the new salary structure earn Shs 4,500,000, Consultant- Shs 4,200,000, while the Medical Officer will earn Shs 3,000,000.
“However, this is not enough; rationalization of salaries should be the next step by the Ministry of Public Service (MoPS). MoPS should correct the wide disparities between employees of similar qualification in different government departments,” Obuku said.
Obuku noted that they are as well aware that the budget for the supply of essential medicines and medical technologies by National Medical Stores has gone up by 18% (Shs 41bn).
“Further, the Blood Transfusion Services, we understand has gone up towards 100%, as it were we do not expect any blood shortages in the financial year.”
He however noted that they have observed consequences following their industrial action which among other include mass transfers of doctors who were part of the industrial action as well as a witch-hunt of UMA leaders.
Obuku observed that as a post-strike agenda and give back to Ugandans, the doctors have started a country wide tour to sensitize Doctors about the new developments, their rights and responsibilities to the Ugandan society at large.
“We are at the same time fighting Medical Professional Negligence, Maternal deaths, absenteeism from health facilities; promoting quality care, civic awareness, patriotism and leadership.”
“We are as well mobilizing doctors to join hard to reach hospitals such as Moroto regional referral. We still have a deficit of 50% or up to 1,300 doctors. In fact we have submitted a list of 56 Specialists to Ministry of Health to support this cause.”