Ugandan Doctors are Selfish-Museveni

3525 Views Kampala, Uganda

In short
According to President Museveni, doctors wanted to create a crisis through their strikes but failed. He says he will import the Cuban doctors in order to deal with Ugandan medics who think that they are earning peanuts.

 
President Museveni has defended government proposal to import medical personnel from Cuba to work in public hospitals in rural areas, saying the move is intended to avert a crisis created by Ugandan Doctors. 

The government intends to import at least 200 Cuban doctors, in a plan that was mooted during the doctors' strike in protest of poor pay and poor working conditions. 

According to President Museveni, doctors wanted to create a crisis through their strikes but failed. He says he will import the Cuban doctors in order to deal with Ugandan medics who think that they are earning peanuts. 

He was speaking at the National Labor Day Celebrations in Sembabule district this afternoon.
 
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 Government plans to pay each Cuban doctor about USD 1,500 (about 5.4 million Shillings) per month, yet a local senior consultant doctor will get 4.5 million Shillings per month.

Museveni's remarks came after the Chairman General of National Organisation of Trade Unions-NOTU; Usher Wilson Owere requested that the money be given to the imported doctors be given to Ugandan doctors to improve their welfare. 

Last week, Ugandan doctors demanded that the 200 slots be advertised so that Ugandan Doctors with similar specialities are given priorities and only areas where there is no one to take the job, the option of Cuban doctors be explored.

 Labor Day is commemorated in celebrations of all workers and their efforts world over. This year's theme is "Uniting Workers for Social and Economic Advancement". 

 Last week while addressing journalists in Kampala, Dr Obuku Ekwaro, the President Uganda Medical Association (UMA) opposed the importation of Cuban doctors arguing that the conditions in Uganda do not warrant government to import Cuban medical specialists and consultants.
Uganda has over 1,500 specialist doctors registered with Uganda Medical and Dental Practitioners Council-UMDPC.   Dr Ekwaro says however that the reasons specialists aren't available in regional and rural hospitals are what motivated last year's Doctors' strike.
 
He noted that the comprehensive cost of importing Cuban doctors is likely to outweigh the benefits citing that the imported medical workers will dig into taxpayers' money to cater for their housing, transport (airfare), salary and security. 

Uganda graduates over 150 specialist doctors annually with now 530 specialists in training in the five universities in the country and over 150 subspecialists sent to India, Canada, USA and Italy. 

In the recent past, Cuban Doctors were instrumental in setting up Mbarara University of Science and Technology - MUST in 1990. By 2017, MUST with the help of Cuban Doctors have trained over 1000 Medical Doctors in Uganda.
 

 

About the author

Davidson Ndyabahika
Davidson Ndyabahika is a Journalism major from Makerere University and is passionate about investigative and data journalism with special interest in feature story telling.

He has gone through digital and multi-media training both at Ultimate Multimedia Consult, and has attended Data Journalism Sessions at ACME to enrich his capacity in data journalism.

Davidson has previously freelanced with The Campus Times, The Observer, Chimp reports and URN. He is currently reporting under Education. He is also passionate about reporting on environment, health, crime and political satire writing.

Follow him on Twitter: @dndyaba