NEWS

Cabinet to finalise new salary structure on Saturday

State minister for health Sarah Opendi appearing before MPs on Wednesday. Photo by Vincent Kasozi.

KAMPALA–Cabinet this Monday debated a report from the Salary review committee detailing pay rises for different categories of civil servants.

The State minister for Health, Sarah Opendi, made the revelation to MPs on the health committee of Parliament this morning.

The minister had been asked to respond to a number of queries including the uncertainty surrounding the strike that had been called off by the Uganda nurses and mid wives union.

She noted that a special cabinet meeting this Saturday would hammer out the concrete details of the pay raises for various cadres.

She disclosed that these pay raises would be effective next financial year.

“So we are having a special cabinet meeting on Saturday to conclude this matter but I want to assure you chair that all our doctors and nurses and all our allied health professionals will have a salary raise next year,” she assured the MPs.

Opendi stated that Cabinet also held a lengthy meeting with the executive of the Nurses and midwives union which discussed and came up with a number of solutions to the issues raised by the disgruntled nurses.

One of the points agreed was a Shs300,000 housing allowance for nurses which will be factored into the pay rise once cabinet finalizes its report.

“We’ve been constructing houses for health workers but it’s not adequate, so the other demand they put up was that we consider for those who are not being housed some small housing allowance of at least Shs300,000,” she revealed.

The Gulu woman MP Betty Aol Ochan was displeased that the salary rises are coming next financial year and stated that the government should request parliament to authorize a supplementary budget to cater for the salary enhancements for doctors and nurses.

“There are certain times that we go in for supplementary budget for even things that are not as important as even lives, why can’t we really handle this? Take it to your cabinet?” she pushed.

Opendi has also brushed aside reports that the government is planning to hire 200 Cuban doctors.

She told the health committee that there is no concrete plan to this effect.

She says that the matter was merely a discussion that has not reached any level.

“That matter was mooted at the time the doctors were on strike, I think the minister was quoted in both print and electronic media and I must say that as we speak now we don’t have anything concrete regarding the importation of Cuban doctors.” She stated.

Her statement to the committee comes after the medical association yesterday slammed the proposal noting that it was ill advised given that the state of hospitals in the country characterized by lack of medicines and equipment.

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