KAMPALA – The Minister of Health, Ruth Aceng has expressed regret for the failure by government to pay the frontline medical staff handling cases of coronavirus across the country and promised to ensure the team is paid.
Aceng issued her apology on Saturday, April 18, 2020, while briefing the country on the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The Minister said, “The Ministry of Health regrets the delay in payment of allowances to health workers at the frontline of COVID-19. We are going to make sure that these individuals benefit from the donations to the COVID-19 response.”
Her remarks come after Speaker, Rebecca Kadaga this week asked the Minister of Health to explain why the medical workers tasked with screening, testing and treating suspected patients of COVID-19 disease are not paid.
Kadaga’s directive were in response to complaints by Francis Mwijukye (Buhweju County) questioned during plenary sitting why the medical workers who are hunting down the COVID-19 patients for testing haven’t received any penny for the last three months.
Mwijukye told Parliament that the team has threatened to lay down their tools until are paid, a move he said could cripple Uganda’s efforts towards containing the spread of Coronavirus in the country
He also told Parliament that when the health professionals threatened to carry on industrial action, top officials at the Ministry of Health threatened to replace them if they abandon work.
Kadaga wondered how the team would go unpaid for that long yet the supplementary budget for the Ministry of Health was enhanced to a tune of Shs104b to cater for hiring and payment of staff.