President Yoweri Museveni has directed the Ministry of Health to reach out to the Finance Ministry and secure Shs80b to handle the salary arrears of the striking medical interns.
The development was realized during the Monday cabinet meeting at State House where the president communicated that he wanted the impasse to be resolved once and for good.
The interns on Monday staged a nationwide peaceful protests from Kabale in Kigezi region, to Kampala in Central and Gulu in the Northern section of the country. Police however foiled their peaceful protests and instituted several arrests.
Intern doctors are among other issues protesting their delayed deployment as many stress that they have been on the bench for the past nine months. The interns also said their UGX 2.5m salary that was elevated from UGX 750,000 has not been fulfilled as pledged by government. The interns who cover 60% of work at government hospitals have left a huge vacuum for the entire days they have been on strike.
Medical interns are doctors, pharmacists, and nurses who have already graduated from medical school but need to undergo a one-year placement in the hospital to get permanent practising licenses from their professional councils. Some of them said they have been waiting for deployment for the last nine months in vain.
The intern doctors are paid Shs2.5m each month. Their absence, according to UMA has affected service delivery in public health facilities as they carry around 60 per cent of the workload partly because of the few doctors employed by the government.
The ICT and National guidance Minister Dr. Chris Baryomunsi in a Tuesday media statement says government is overwhelmed by the influx of interns following the mushrooming medical schools across the country. He says it is now difficult for government to plan on time for the mammoth number of interns.