Kampala — A multi-sectoral subcommittee of Cabinet established to review demands of striking doctors and persuade them to return to work is set to meet today with leaders of Uganda Medical Association (UMA) to try and break the deadlock.
The development comes after the doctors under UMA vowed to continue their industrial action until government improves their salary and working condition.
The government last week ordered the doctors back to work, forcing the doctors to hit back and accuse Health minister Ruth Aceng of intimidation. The medics also threatened to withdraw emergency health services which had remained operational since the strike was declared on November 6.
Dr Ekwaro Obuku, the president of UMA, said they were aware of the meeting and were ready to engage with the committee, but they were yet to receive any details of the meeting by press time.
"We will wait and see what they have to talk," Dr Obuku told Daily Monitor yesterday in a telephone interview.
The committee comprises ministers of Health, Finance, Public Service, Education and Sports, Gender, Labour and Social Development and the Attorney General. They have been tasked to reach an agreement with the doctors to call off the strike, which has paralysed healthcare delivery across public hospitals.
By press time last night, the committee members were reportedly locked in a closed-door meeting and did not respond to our repeated phone calls and text messages.
As part of their demands, the doctors want government to review their salaries which would see an intern doctor earn Shs8.5 million as opposed to the current Shs960,000 before tax.
They also want a medical officer or teaching assistant to be paid Shs15 million and accorded a two-bedroom house plus a 2.5cc vehicle.