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FIRED COVID19 HEALTH WORKERS: Minister Aceng Summoned for Disobeying Museveni Orders

President Museveni and Health Minister Aceng
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Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng has been directed to defend herself against claims that she and her Permanent Secretary Dr Diana Atwine defied President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni’s order to absorb all health workers who had been hired to offer Covid19 emergency services. 

Deputy Speaker Thomas Tayebwa (Ruhinda North – NRM) has ordered Minister Aceng to come to the House on May 18 and give a comprehensive explanation on why she and her PS Dr Atwine terminated the contracts of health workers under the Covid19 emergency services even when President Museveni issued a directive making it clear that these workers be absorbed in the health sector.

Tayebwa, who chaired the May 12 plenary, told his fellow MPs that he has been contacted by some of the fired health workers who have shared with him ‘spine-chilling’ experiences, and need help as soon as possible.

“The messages I am receiving are from those who even have a master’s degree in medicine – they are crying, they are really in a bad state – some had taken up loans here and there,” Tayebwa told the House.

It should be remembered that in November 2021, the Health Service Commission moved to employ all legible medical officers who had been working under the Covid19 Emergency Services arrangement as had been directed by president Museveni.

Indeed on November 10, 2021, the Health Service Commission wrote to all directors of government health facilities informing them that a validation exercise of all Covid19 emergency workers would be undertaken.

According to Tayebwa, these health workers were regularized into health service, began working and used their employment contracts as collateral for bank loans.

But PS Dr Atwine swung her axe, ignored the presidential directive and terminated the contracts of all non-gratuitable contract health workers under the Covid19 Emergency Services in a letter dated March 18.

“So after saving us and Covid19 is gone we are terminating their contracts. What if Covid19 comes back? I do not know how we shall call these people again to volunteer,” Tayebwa wondered.

In March 2022, Minister Aceng and her PS Atwine fired about 700 health workers who had been offering emergency services during the Covid19 pandemic after Museveni’s government reportedly failed to pay them for almost six months. (Read Story Here).

Meanwhile, government has promised to increased salaries for all health workers — including morgue attendants — starting July 2022. The health workers will share a Shs400bn allocation, according to a top official from the Ministry of Public Service. (Read Story Here).

Still in the science field, Museveni’s cabinet has approved promised to pay each science teacher Shs4m monthly starting July 2022 after teachers went on strike at the start of second term. (Read Story Here).

IT’S OUR TIME TO EAT; YOU’RE ON YOUR OWN: Science Teachers Tell Their Arts Colleagues to Fight for Themselves as Government Promises Shs4m Monthly Salary Starting July 2022

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