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CONFIRMED: Intern Doctors End Strike after Meeting Museveni Government Officials; Fired Interns Forgiven; Money Expected Next Week

Striking intern doctors. Courtesy Photo
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A meeting between Federation of Ugandan Medical Interns (Fumi) and several government officials has resolved that the trainee doctors end their strike, resume work, and that their allowances are paid next week.

The intern doctors had been on strike for weeks, prompting Dr Henry Mwebesa, the director general of health services at the Ministry of Health (MoH) to fire them.

But a meeting attended by Dr Mwebesa and other MoH officials; members of the Uganda Medical Association (Uma), representatives of the National Organisation of Trade Unions(Notu), Junior Health Minister for Primary Health Care Margaret Muhanga, ICT and National Guidance Minister Dr Chris Baryomunsi and Fumi leaders, resolved that the interns call off the strike.

“The meeting agreed and confirmed that enhanced internship allowances (Intern Medical Doctors Shs2,500,000, Pharmacists Shs2,000,000, and nurses/midwives Shs1,500,000 per month) inclusive of arrears will be paid to all eligible medical interns with effect from Ist July, 2021 to 6th November, 2021 when they went on strike. However, those who stayed on duty shall be paid up to the end of December 2021, and, and going forward these will be the monthly rates,” said Dr Baryomunsi after the meeting.

“Funds for payment of interns allowances will be transferred to the accounts of the internship training centers starting from 20th December, 2021. The Fumi executive has agreed to meet with their members to call off the industrial action and resume work on Monday 20th December, 2021.”

The Uma executive has also accepted too meet their members to discuss “the way forward regarding the industrial action” which began weeks ago. Their meeting will also happen on December 20.

Baryomunsi also confirmed that “the period for which some interns were on industrial action shall be compensated by extending internship of those affected by the equivalent period for which they stayed away and they will be paid the allowances accordingly.”

The meeting also agreed that “the directive of the the Director General Health Services to Hospital Directors dated 10th December, 2021 Ref ADM. 170/264/01 asking medical interns to vacate hospital premises is rescinded.”

Meanwhile, Uma and Fumi have also agreed to withdraw their court application challenging Dr Mwebesa directives for striking interns to vacate hospital premises.

There is also good news for Senior House Officers (SHOs) or clinical postgraduate students who will be paid Shs2.5m starting from July 01, 2021.

The parties also agreed that as directed by President Museveni, Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja should put in place a directives on improving the welfare of health workers.

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