MMedical personnel from the Police has also began offering services in the health facilities, two weeks after doctors in the country embarked on a strike. The Police now joins the military which has been deployed to reinforce the health workers in providing much needed emergency services in government facilities.
The new Police Spokesperson, Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) Emilian Kayima revealed on Sunday that the Police is acting on President Yoweri Museveni’s directive to health departments of the armed forces to assist the Ministry of Health with labour.
“The Inspector General of Police Gen. Kale Kayihura gave directives to the Director of Uganda Police Force Health Services to provide support alongside others that are supporting the Ministry including the Ugands People’s Defense Forces (UPDF) and Uganda Prisons Service (UPS),” SSP Kayima said in a statement.
“The directive has been complied with immediate effect,” he added.
The police Spokesperson further called upon the citizens to utilize all the 94 police health facilities across the country which he said offer services to civilians too. These facilities are scattered in Kampala, Mbarara, Rukungiri, Arua, Gulu, Tororo, Mbale, Masaka and Jinja among others.
Kayima said that civilians can access assistance ranging from antenatal, dental, maternity and HIV related health care services.
However, the number of human resource provided by the armed forces in the interim remains very minimal compared to the the medics that laid down their tools.
Kayima said that the police has only offered 16 doctors but of these, 2 are on leave. The army also contributed a handful of medics.
The intervention follows a stalemate in the negotiations between the striking doctors and the government task force that was set up to resolve the crisis. Last week, the President cancelled a meeting he was slated to have with the doctors shortly after he threatened to sack all of them.
The Uganda Medical Association President Dr Ekwaro Obuku insists they won’t bow down to any pressure until their grievances are addressed.
Since the start of this strike, a number of patients have lost life due to lack of doctors at the health facilities have died especially in the remote Eastern region.