MEDICAL INTERNS AT ARUA REGIONAL REFERRAL HOSPITAL JOIN NATIONAL INDUSTRIAL ACTION
todayFebruary 7, 2024
By Godwin Abedican
Medical intern at Arua regional Referral Hospital under their umbrella body Federation of Uganda Medical Interns (FUMI) have joined their counterparts in other parts of the country in the ongoing national industrial action which started on 1st February 2024.
The interns are demanding the Ministry of Health (MoH) to come out clearly on why the presidential directives issued on their allowances is not being implemented as directed.
In 2021, President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni gave a directive that medical interns should be paid monthly allowances to tune of half of what their seniors earn. Speaking to the media during a media briefing on Tuesday 6th February 2024 at the hospital, Dr. Monday Isiko, the head of the medical interns at Arua Regional Referral Hospital says that they are not ready to work unless their issues are dressed “If the ministry and the concerned authority do not come to our rescue, we want to inform the country that we are not yet ready to return to work unless our issues are attended to,” Dr. Isiko stated.
Dr. Timothy Lumu, one of the medical interns at the hospital describes this action as unfortunate saying they have been forced into this, far from their will “We are passionate doctors and never do ewe enjoy the plight of our patients. However we are also human beings who have families to support and we need to be paid to do that,” Dr. Lumu said.
According to the presidential directive each of the medical intern doctors would earn a monthly allowance of 2.5 million shillings but instead the ministry of health has been paying them 1 million monthly allowances a figure they are demanding to know how was reached.
After the press briefing the administration of Arua Regional Referral Hospital convened a meeting in which the striking medical interns were given a deadline of 5pm on Tuesday 6th February 2024, to produce a list of those who are willing to continue working and those not willing will have to leave
In a telephone interview with Dr. Monday Isiko the head of the medical interns at the Hospital after the meeting he regrets the intimidation over the matter adding that strike is not for Arua only, it’s a national thing.
Reports indicate that the interns at the regional referral hospital by 6th February 2024 had not yet received their allowances for the month ending January 31st 2024.
COVER PHOTO: Dr. Monday Isiko-Center, the head of the medical interns at Arua Regional Referral Hospital speaking to the Media during a press conference on Feb 6th 2024 as his colleagues look on By Godwin Abedican