11 December 2012

Uganda: Govt Releases Pay for Striking Medical Workers

Photo: Lauren Everitt/AllAfrica
A mother consults a nurse: Uganda considered the most corrupt in healthcare in East Africa region.

Kabale — The government, through its public service ministry, has released salaries for Kabale Regional Hospital staff who had abandoned work over the matter.

Doctor Placid Mihayo, the director of the south-western hospital said: "The health workers under their Medical Workers Union chose to strike much as we assured them that their money would be paid."

Mihayo said that by Monday evening most of the aggrieved health workers had confirmed receiving their money on their bank accounts.

Sebastian Magezi, the Chairman of Medical Workers Union said government "understands one language of striking and that is what we have done".

"We have laid down our tools until government honours unpaid salaries of August and October."

He said a skeleton staff [a few key workers] has been left to handle only emergencies until government pays them.

By the time New Vision visited the regional hospital, the laboratory and Out-Patients department were closed. The maternity ward was receiving only women who were ready to deliver.

Dr Placid Mihayo deployed intern doctors from Mulago, Gulu and Mbarara Universities to handle some patients.

If the medics don't return to work, he said, patients would have to be referred to other medical facilities within the district.

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