Doctors suspend three-week strike

Dr Ekwaro Obuku addresses journalists recently. Doctors have agreed to call off the three-week strike. File photo.

KAMPALA–Doctors under their umbrella association, Uganda Medical Association, have resolved to call off a sit down strike that has lasted three weeks.

This was during an extra ordinary meeting held today, Saturday at Silver Springs Hotel Kampala.

The meeting was attended by David Bahati, the State minister for Planning, who briefed doctors on he outcome of the negotiations between government and the medical personnel under UMA leadership.

“Government has understood the problem and a Shs41b supplementary budget has been allocated to address the issue,” he said.

The minister also pledged government’s commitment to addressing the problem of managerial shortfall, which he blamed for the scarcity of drugs.

Minister Bahati said allowances for medical interns that had been slashed from Shs 940,000 to Shs740,000 has been reinstated and will be paid in timely manner. He also revealed that that Shs4.2 billion has been released to cater for allowances of senior health officers.

He also said the starting salary for doctors starting next financial year will be Shs5m up from Shs1.3million.
Upon hearing these concessions, the assembly voted to suspend industrial action until December 15 and allow their leaders to continue negotiating with the government.

The vote for the suspension of the strike was 113 against 76 members who voted for the continuation of industrial action while six doctors abstained.

Doctors originally wanted the government to increase their salaries from Shs1.3m to Shs15m and for senior consultants to be paid Shs48m and other allowances.



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