KAMPALA – The Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council has asked the Government to pay salaries of private hospital staff saying the Coronavirus pandemic has hit their businesses, prompting some of them to lay off their staff.
The call was made by Joel Okullo, Chairman Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council who had appeared before Parliament’s National Economy Committee to discuss how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on the health sector.
Okullo highlighted a number of proposals including call to Government to provide ambulances to provide health units that have been accredited to be at the frontline of fighting COVID-19 as well as help protect jobs of the few staff still employed.
Okullo said that most of the private health facilities had no choice but to lay off some of the health workers and chose to maintain only a skeleton staff that they could afford to pay.
Dr.Okullo said, “Let Government and all stakeholders come up with strategies and policies to direct operation under the new normal as COVID-19 isn’t about to go away. Government should support the private health units with salary relief enhancements especially to the laid off staff.”
The Medical Council also proposed to have Government provide soft loans to enable the health professionals invest in facilities that can provide sustainable services to the population of Uganda and also called for the need to create sustainability in supplies by putting in place tax waivers to prospective investors, both local and international.
They also argued that the COVID-19 pandemic caused a lot of strain on most of the families who got patients within the period and only those with some sort of insurance were cushioned, prompting the Medical Council to urge Parliament to expedite the passing into law the National Health Insurance Scheme Bill into an Act, saying if passed into law, the funds generated from the scheme will be ploughed back in the health system thus reducing the repeated borrowing for health projects.