Uganda Medical Association Tasks Parliament on Presidential Directives

The Uganda Medical Association (UMA) has tasked parliament to prioritize revamping of the economy and the Health Sector in the coming financial year 2022/2023 budget.
Doctors under Uganda Medical Association inside CPS during their strike. The doctors were arrested for marching to Parliament

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The Uganda Medical Association (UMA) has tasked parliament to prioritize revamping of the economy and the Health Sector in 2022/2023. 

Parliament through its sectoral committees is currently scrutinizing the 43 trillion Shillings National Budget Framework Paper tabled by the Ministry of Finance in December 2021.

 “We are hopeful that the government is prioritizing paying 5 million Shillings to medical officers as starting salary as promised and directed by the President earlier and increments for medical professionals up to the level of Senior Consultant by the beginning of July 2022,” said Dr. Sam Oledo, the UMA president.

 While addressing Journalists on Sunday at Mulago hospital, Dr. Sam Oledo, the UMA president warned that if the presidential directives on the health sector are not captured in the Budget Framework Paper by 1st May 2022, the doctors are to embark on another industrial action and only attend to emergency cases.

Oledo requested Parliament’s Health Committee and the Budget Committee to ensure that the directives are included in the 2022/2023 budget. He disagreed with the phased approach as has been stated by some government officials.

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  The Uganda Medical Association also asked Parliament to ensure appropriation of funds for recruitment of more health workers and others.

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He also noted a discrepancy in the payment of medical interns and Senior House Officers- SHOs 2.5 million Shillings and deduction of only 10 percent Pay As You Earn -PAYE tax as directed by the President.

  “As we speak today the money is already on individuals’ accounts, although this has not yet been implemented with Senior House Officers in private universities as was agreed with the President that all SHOs must benefit from this fund,” said Oledo.

He also noted that some public hospitals have applied different tax deductions of 30 percent and 34 percent away from the 10 percent tax deduction directive by President Museveni.

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 In November 2021, President Yoweri Museveni met leaders of the Uganda Medical Association (UMA) and agreed to enhance doctors’ salaries in the next financial year and give each a tax-free vehicle. 

The emergency meeting at State House Entebbe was a move to end the doctors’ strike, which caused devastating effects on patients due to service delivery disruption.

 The medics, then wanted the government to enhance their salary, improve the infrastructure in public health facilities such as intensive care units, ensure uninterrupted supply of medicines and personal protective equipment as well as avail more ambulances for Covid-19 case management, among others.

 A statement issued by State House, then indicated that the President directed that all doctors should be employed as soon as they qualify and emphasized that the government is fully committed to providing enhanced salaries not only to medical personnel but also to all scientists.

 “All the medical doctors should be employed by the government once they complete their studies. The Ministry of Health should move forward with the program of employing more health personnel. The government is fully committed to personnel protection while they perform their duties. We have the role of providing personal protection equipment. It is logical to provide the essential medical facilities as opposed to giving out risk allowances,” read part of the President’s statement.

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