“I received the money but not satisfied with the amount sent. I expected more than just one million shillings but the ministry has paid me less and no one is explaining why the money was deducted”, the medic who preferred anonymity because of victimization by the management said.
Health Workers carying out rapid COVID -19 tests on students who returned from Kampala -Photo by Jesse Johnson James
A number of health
workers have allegedly received less money than what they expected in their
risk allowances paid in arrears. The health workers deployed in COVID-19
Treatment Unit- CTU had taken months without receiving their allowances.
Last week, a number of
health workers received the payment through mobile money instead of their
respective bank accounts as it was in 2020. The government committed to pay
each health worker in CTU an allowance of Shillings 80,000 for each day of
However, the health
workers received only about 30 percent of the expected pay. A health worker
attached to the CTU at Soroti Regional Referral Hospital says that she expected
Shillings 1,680,000 for the 21 days she worked for in May and June but only
received Shillings 1,175,000 on Friday on her mobile money account.
“I received the money but not satisfied with the amount sent. I expected
more than just one million shillings but the ministry has paid me less and no
one is explaining why the money was deducted”, the medic who preferred
anonymity because of victimization by the management said.
URN has since learnt that deductions of the allowances did not affect Soroti
alone. Medical workers including volunteers at Entebbe Regional Referral
Hospital are equally unhappy that their risk allowances were taxed at a rate of
One of the nurses at Entebbe Referral Hospital who requested to remain
anonymous says that she worked for 20 days from February to April and was
expecting Shillings 1.6million but received only Shillings 560,000 on Wednesday
when the health ministry paid risk allowances for 100 medics at the hospital.
She is puzzled because it implies that she worked for only 10 days in three
months, considering that the risk allowance is Shillings 56,000 after taxation.
A medical doctor in the same unit also expected Shillings 1.6million but only received
Shillings 1.2 million for the 20 days he spent in the ward. All the medics
attached to CTU who talked with our reporter said that their allowances had
"There is poor communication in this hospital. First, the allowances were
not paid for a long time. Secondly, deductions were made without our knowledge
and thirdly, the number of days worked are either less or more for some of us”,
a medical doctor said at Entebbe. Some of the workers especially volunteers are losing morale at work.
that if the issue of payment of their allowances is not resolved then they will
abandon the job, which they note is very risky. Dr. Michael Muwanga, the
Hospital Director of Soroti was not in office when our reporter reached to seek
his comments on the matter. He neither picked nor returned our calls when
contacted on phone.
Emmanuel Ainebyoona, the Health Ministry Communications Officer, said that they
are aware of the deductions but referred our reporter to the Ministry of
Finance and Uganda Revenue Authority.
“We have raised it with the Ministry of Finance and URA why they are taxing
health workers’ allowances. I will need to find out how much tax has been
levied on the allowances. For now, URA is in better position to respond to you
on this matter”, he said on phone.
Ian Muhimbise Rumanyika, the Acting Assistant Commissioner in charge of Public and
Corporate Affairs at URA did not deny or acknowledge taxing the allowances when
contacted on phone. “You are raising a very serious matter. Send your concerns
to my email so that I can respond to you officially”, he said.
only responded with the income tax rates applicable to resident individuals,
which indicates that any monthly income exceeding UGX. 410,000 is charged 30
Bureau Chief, Soroti
Living the Pen