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Pharmacists threaten to join striking doctors

Health minister Jane Ruth Aceng appears before MPs recently. PML Daily photo.

Pharmacists under their umbrella body, the Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda (PSU) have warned President Yoweri Museveni to stop threatening striking doctors who are currently on strike.

Speaking at a rally in Burahya County, Kabarole District on Thursday, Museveni said he would sack all medical doctors currently on strike for failing the NRM principal of managing scarce resources and replace them with those who are hungry for jobs.

But pharmacists under their umbrella association, Pharmaceutical Society of Uganda (PSU), warned that threatening medical workers will only aggravate the situation.

“If I were him, I would not threaten them but rather seek dialogue with them to solve the impasse,” Edson Ireeta, a member of PSU told journalists in Kampala on Friday.

President Museveni on Thursday said the doctors had betrayed him by letting people die because they want a pay raise, something he described as being intolerable and vowed to replace the striking medical workers with new ones.

The army spokesperson, Brig. Richard Karemire, on Thursday confirmed that they had deployed military doctors in hospitals to fill the vacuum left by the striking doctors.

Responding to the move, the pharmacists’ body said the deployment was a waste of time.
“How many medics does the army or police have? Even if they deploy them, they cannot close the gap left by the striking medical workers,”Ireeta said.

Uganda Medical Association president Dr Ekwaro Obuku recently said there are over 1,300 medical doctors and nurses currently on strike. He also said on Thursday that the President’s threats to fire the striking doctors are not applicable.

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