Last week the Director General of Health Services Dr Henry Mwebesa issued a letter sacking all medical interns who are striking for better pay.
Despite the numerous voices of discontent over this move, the Minister for ICT and National Guidance Dr Chris Baryomunsi has said that government is set to maintain it’s poison sacking all these medical interns.
“All medical interns on strike vacate the hospital premises within one week of the date of this letter to pave way for the new medical interns that are due to start in the year 2022,” the letter partly read.
Baryomunsi says that all these interns who are not working will have to vacate the government premises by Friday this week.
He adds that it’s an intern’s duty to do the internship diligently and pass it well.
“The letter by the Ministry of Health stands. On Friday, all interns who don’t want to work will have to vacate our facilities. They haven’t been working for six weeks. Has the world stopped?
It is in an intern’s interest to do the internship very well and pass. They shouldn’t be engaging in these strikes. I am speaking as a medical doctor who passed through the processes,” Baryo said.
The Minister adds that there is nothing to negotiate and if there is, then these students should say it than holding the government at ransom.
“What is there to negotiate? All the issues they raised have been addressed. If they have any other issues beyond welfare, let them let us know.
The request for an increment in allowances by interns is legitimate, and that’s why the government has responded by allocating money in the supplementary budget.”
He adds that these interns know that the supplementary budget of 19 billion shillings was approved by the government to cater for these interns salaries.
It’s however the politicians confusing these medical practitioners.
He also says that its only in Kampala that these interns are putting up a situation as others are working countrywide.
“About UGX 19 billion was allocated to enhance salaries of medical interns in the supplementary budget. The interns also know that the money is available. It is these politicians confusing them.
There is no crisis available in the health sector as far as the government is concerned.
The medical workers’ strike is not popular among the health workers, and I can say that without fear of contradiction. It is only the doctors in Kampala striking. I have been to the countryside, and the doctors are working.”
Medical interns countrywide, through their umbrella association of the Federation for Uganda Medical Interns, announced a strike on November 6, 2021 demanding for payment of enhanced medical internship allowances.
These interns had been assured that their salaries would be sent out soon as parliament approved the supplementary budget.
This was however approved on 19th November 2021 but they are yet to receive anything.