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Museveni Issues Orders on Doctors’ Strike

President Yoweri Museveni

President Yoweri Kaguta Tibuhaburwa Museveni has issued a number of directives on the welfare of doctors whose strike has entered Day Eight today.

On November 23, President Museveni met the executive of the Uganda Medical Association (UMA) at State House Entebbe.

In the meeting, the head-of-state and striking doctors discussed ways of implementation of enhancement of salaries of a newly appointed Medical doctor to Shs5m; unemployment of medical doctors while the country needs them; compensation of families of Medical Workers who died of Covid19; provision of adequate medicines and medical supplies and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the health facilities; contribution of Shs4bn balance of the Presidential pledge to the UMA SACCO; and Procurement of vehicles for Senior Consultants in line with their entitlements and duty free for medical doctors and all other Health workers.

Following the meeting, Museveni, through Prime Minister Robinah Nabbanja, has since directed Finance Minister Matia Kasaija, Health Minister Dr Jane Ruth Aceng and Public Service Minister Muruli Mukasa to implement resolutions from the meeting.

So, what exactly did the meeting resolve and what did Museveni direct his ministers to do for UMA? Below is an account of resolutions and directives as announced by PM Nabbanja:

On implementation of salary enhancement, Government is committed to pay Shs5m monthly as starting salary for Medical Officers effective Financial Year 2022/23. The Ministries of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Public Service and Health should effect this without fail.

The Ministry of Public Service is directed to ensure that positions of Medical Officers are established up to the sub-county level beginning 1st July, 2022. At least one Medical Officer should be recruited in every Health Center Ill and three Medical Officers at Health Center IV.

Government, henceforth, will be recruiting all doctors willing to work for Government upon completion of internship. This is in line with H E the President’s directive during the budget speech of FY 2021/22 and subsequent statements he has made in various places.

On compensation of families of medical workers who died of Covid19, the Minister of Gender, Labor and Social Development is advised to set up and chair a committee comprising of the Ministries of Health, Public Service, Finance, Planning and Economic Development, the Attorney General, and representative of Uganda Medical Association to guide on the legalities and way forward.

On the provision of scholarships to some orphans of medical workers who died of COVID-19, Government will consider this, provided the students are studying sciences. The Ministries of Education and Sports, Health and Gender, Labor and Social Development should work together to advise on this.

Regarding Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for Covid19, medicines and other consumables, the Ministry of Health working with the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development should ensure that health facilities have proper quantification of requirements and adequate supplies at any one time.

In addition, the Ministry of Health is directed to emphasize disease prevention and health promotion to reduce the burden of communicable and non-communicable diseases, which consume a lot of medicines and supplies.

Furthermore, the IT Solution to stop the stealing of medicines should be funded and rolled out to all government health facilities and strictly implemented.

H E the President committed to complete his outstanding contribution of UGX 4 billion (of his pledge of UGX 5 billion) and directed the State House Comptroller to effect this payment within the current Financial Year.

In order to increase the take-home package by the health Workers, the President directed the Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development, Uganda Revenue Authority, Ministry of Public Service and the Attorney General to study the possibility of reducing the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax from 30% to 10% within the law as well as the possibility of importing vehicles free of taxes for medical doctors and other Health Workers.

senior Consultants are entitled to chauffeur driven cars, by virtue of their appointment. The Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development and Ministry of Health should make a budget provision for this in the next Financial Year (2022/23) and procure the appropriate class of cars.

Within the available resources, Government will continue to provide accommodation to health workers.

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