Uncertainty As Doctors’ Meeting with President Gets Cancelled

Doctors have only been offering emergency services like surgery

Medical doctors who are currently on strike are set to convene and find a way forward after their scheduled meeting with President Yoweri Museveni today was cancelled.

The doctors under their umbrella body Uganda Medical Association (UMA) were supposed to hold talks with the President according to the road map released when they launched their industrial action last week Monday.

Dr. Faizo Kavuma, the UMA spokesperson confirmed to SoftPower News that the decisive meeting with Museveni at State House Entebbe has been postponed to a later date that will be communicated.

Kavuma said that the postponement was communicated on Thursday night through an e-mail sent to the leadership of UMA by the State House officials.

Going forward, Kavuma noted that the association is to hold a meeting later in the day to discuss the way forward after long awaited meeting was cancelled.

This development came hours after the President publicly threatened to sack all the doctors on strike for not allowing the ongoing salary review process to conclude.

Museveni who was speaking at a rally in Kabalore district said; “We had selected a committee to review salary disparities of civil servants in the country and it was about to complete its work when the doctors decided to strike leading to loss of all lives. They betrayed me”.

The President said the strike was “intolerable” and added that “we shall fire doctors who don’t want to work. How can you strike and let people die?”

Government this week asked the striking medics to vacate health facilities and ordered the army, police and prisons personnel who have medical training to start offering medical services at Mulago national referral hospital.

But a communiqué from UMA leadership asked the doctors to stay at their facilities as they ascertain their legal options.

Commenting on the threats by President Museveni to have doctors fired, the workers’ MP, Sam Lyomoki noted that that would be just a wishful thinking which can’t be effected since the country has a deficit of doctors.

Since the meeting with President was the last card in the hands of the medics, there’s fear that this could prompt them to withdraw the emergency services which they have previously threatened to stop should government continue to intimidate them.

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