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Doctors’ strike: officials can’t preach water but drink wine

Doctors under their umbrella Uganda Medical Association have gone on strike to protest poor pay, deplorable working conditions and government’s failure to address their grievances.

A senior consultant doctor in Uganda currently earns Shs 3.4 million, a consultant Shs 2.6 million, a medical officer Shs 1.1 million, and an intern doctor Shs 960,000.

This doesn’t compare favourably with what their counterparts in neighbouring countries earn, which partly explains the brain drain that sees our health sector losing some of its best brains every year.

President Museveni and his officials argue that the government’s most pressing priority right now is infrastructure, and that health workers should be patient.

The government has been saying the same to prosecutors, magistrates, university lecturers and teachers, among other categories of workers agitating for a pay rise.

It would be a compelling argument if the government was actually practising the frugality that it preaches. On the contrary, alongside the roads, railways and dams, the government is also spending a lot of money on far less important things than the welfare of its workers.

For instance, one of the factors that galvanised the health workers to take action is the allocation of Shs 13bn to members of parliament to consult voters on the Raphael Magyezi private member’s bill that seeks to amend the Constitution so that the incumbent can take his rule beyond 35 years in 2021!

The Shs 29m each MP has been given is enough to pay a consultant doctor for eight months. Moreover, MPs are already handsomely facilitated to do such work on a monthly basis.

This injustice is a reflection of the premium our government assigns to politics at the expense of sectors that touch the welfare of the ordinary Ugandan.

A government that only seems to care about staying in power loses the moral authority to tell its workers to be patient and patriotic.

The disparities in the public salary structure, whereby a driver in one organisation earns more than a manager in another, is yet another grievance leading to industrial action.

It remains to be seen if the salaries board that has been charged with reviewing this imbalance will make a difference.

Sadly, it’s the ordinary people that bear the brunt of industrial action.

Comments   

+5 #1 Lakwena 2017-11-09 08:49
Editors, because of their legitimate demands; can you imagine that the medics who are victims of underpayment and overworked, are accused of being self-seekers?

In other words of all self-seekers, who is the fattest self-seeker in this country? It is Mr. M7, who has even stated it categorically that he is (fights only for himself).

While we support their cause, the Medics must be reminded that, Mr. M7 one time, and without an apology, stated categorically that he does not trust Ugandan doctors.

If that is the case, how do they expect the same guy who despises them, to respect their demands for salary increment?

Nedda! The man is inhuman.

Otherwise it a time for sacrifice. The Medics and teachers should join the rest of Ugandans into rejecting and ejecting the Monster from State House and their prestige and privileges will be restored, and Uganda will rise and shine again.
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+1 #2 kabayekka 2017-11-10 03:16
African medical insurance fund would help many tax paying poor people on the continent.

African governments would not have to touch or withdraw any money from this medical fund for their ever increasing ambitious expenditures.

The fund will only be responsible for such a crisis as this one and many more expensive medical problems that have refused to go away on this continent.
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+2 #3 zungulu zzungulu 2017-11-10 10:24
Can the Salary Review Commission start REVISING All Ugandan's salary grades.....from the Parliamentarians, public servants, the Authorities/Agencies, BOU, No one should get above 15million!!!!!!!

if that is low for you then get out!!!!!

We need the emolument disparities sorted out once and for all.

All citizens deserve to fall in specific grades and differences should not be that glaring!!!! for we all buy from the same market.

Its only the private sector who can afford to have a different scheme but bearing in mind that there should be irreducible minimums.
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+3 #4 Ugthinker 2017-11-10 23:08
Uganda is stuck with a clueless visionary!

I have said over and agin that Museveni is not more than an average mulalo!

The guy is just a product of exaggerations, he has no idea on where we should be as a country.

He came so hard hungry with his lot, after stealing and holding more than they actually need, it was just a matter of time for the economy to crumble!

Those cheering the spoiler on, will probably wake up after a vosit to the hospital one of these days.
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0 #5 Akot 2017-11-11 19:38
Lakwena, thanks!

Yet, if Ugandans don't Unite to throw museveni out, he will continue molesting-starving who ever he wants while the country is at stand still!

As there is no that just 1 opposition leader so much needed, parliament MUST NOT VOTE the dictators age nonsense, because he will NEVER lose any election in Uganda!

Speaker of parliament must know it's the responsibility of the one holding that office, to give chance to electorate & not chance to the dictator!

More so without opposition leadership, the Speaker of parliament is the next to take on the role of leader of the country, until there is another election to design another president or the Speaker can also lead us to formation of Independent Triabl States, then disolve parliament!
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0 #6 Akot 2017-11-11 19:48
kabayekka, agreed, but,

For Uganda/African states, things must be made clear right from start by not giving National Healthcare for tobacco/drug consumers: they have money to poison themselves/their children & surroundings (passive smokers), so they must not benefit form any National health service!

See how developed countries are at pain meeting medical bills caused by cancer/drug related illnesses! This money could go for funding projects for the young while drawing them away from tobacco/drugs!
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0 #7 Akot 2017-11-11 19:52
Quoting Ugthinker:
Uganda is stuck with a clueless visionary!

The guy is just a product of exaggerations, he has no idea on where we should be as a country.

He came so hard hungry with his lot, after stealing and holding more than they actually need, it was just a matter of time for the economy to crumble!

Those cheering the spoiler on, will probably wake up after a vosit to the hospital one of these days.



Thanks!

Let's hope Ugandans wake up before museveni owns the country one way or another!
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