KAMPALA – Speaker Jacob Oulanyah has granted Jinja South Division West MP Timothy Batuwa permission to present a motion to discuss the matter of striking intern doctors.
Medical interns in government hospitals and health centers countrywide took industrial action six weeks ago, demanding a raise in salary and health insurance. They further raised concern over lack of medical supplies.
While presenting a procedural matter during plenary sitting on Wednesday, 15 December 2021, Batuwa said the issue of intern doctors had worsened, with over 30 doctors getting arrested as they attempted to access Parliament.
“The intern doctors have been asked to vacate their offices, as directed by the Minister of Health as of 10 December 2021. Is Parliament finding it needful to intervene on the letter that has been released that seeks to fire intern doctors?” asked Batuwa.
His prayer was to move a motion without notice under Rule 59 of the Parliament Rules of Procedure, which allows MPs to consider a motion without notification.
“I ask your indulgence that this House considers a motion and we discuss the issue of interns exhaustively before we break off for recess,” he said.
Oulanyah however said the matter of doctors is critical and requires a formal motion, which will guide debate.
“Many of us have things to say about what is going on. When we pass budgets, all these things have to be taken care of. So, I take that as notice. Prepare a motion and if the motion can solve the problem, we will have a debate tomorrow [Thursday],” he said.
While addressing the nation in 2017 and in June 2021, President Museveni said doctors’ salaries would be increased from Shs2.5 million to Shs5 million.