Uganda Medical Association (U.M.A) brings together 7000 Medical Doctors in Ugandan and abroad. Our twin mission are welfare and professionalism of our members in order to deliver equitable and quality health and healthcare to the population of Uganda.
As U.M.A, we launched phase one of the industrial action with interns under FUMI on 8th November 2021 subsequent to the delayed salary increment of Medical Interns and Senior House Officers. We launched phase 2 of industrial action by all doctors under U.M.A, on 22nd November 2021, due to delayed salary enhancement as per the presidential directives in 2017 and June 2021’ with the start salary to be raised to 5M for a Medical Officer and other Doctors as per the salary scales, lack of provision of enough personal protective equipment and medicines in hospital, delayed compensation to families of medical doctors who succumbed to Covid-19 in the line of duty, absence of housing for medical interns and SHO’s, and continued inability of medical doctors to access cheaper motor vehicles and thus transport themselves in safe ways to their places of work.
U.M.A NEC was invited to meet H.E the President of the Republic of Uganda on. 23rd November 2021, we were well received, and engaged with him in detailed discussions. Following our discussions, H.E the President gave the following directives;
Provision of additional adequate personal protective equipment and medicines in the government hospitals in all units, salary enhancement for Doctors, with a start salary of 5m for a medical officer, employment of doctors to fill the over 60% vacant positions in the civil service establishment for health workers starting next financial year. Other directives included provision of cars to senior consultants starting next financial year, and tax free vehicles for other medical doctors. The President gave further directives to set up a committee to discuss the matter of compensation to families of Doctors who died in the fight against COVID-19 and the reduction of pay as you earn taxes on the salary of doctors from 30 to 10%. He also promised to pay the 4 billion balance on the directives he had given in 2017 of the UMA SACCO money and also gave further directives that the school fees of one or two of the children of doctors who died In the fight against COVID 19 be paid as long as they are studying science subjects.
U.M.A received the commitment of government on these directives that came from the discussion with H.E The President through a written document from the Office of the Prime Minister, on behalf of the President, although a few of the directives were not written down and given a time frame. U.M.A wrote back to the Rt. Hon Prime Minister to highlight a few of these issues and proposed an implementation plan and suggested timeframes.
U.M.A met with Honorable members of Parliament, on 30th November 2021 ; specifically we met the Workers MPs, and Members of the Health Committee of Parliament, who further discussed these issues with us as well and offered guidance to us on these issues. They committed that they will be working with U.MA moving forward on achieving the implementation of the directives
U.M.A NEC met the Permanent Secretary and Secretary to the Treasury Ministry of Finance and his Team on the 1st December 2021, to further follow up on the supplementary budget which was approved by Parliament to increase the pay for interns and senior House Officers and to discuss further the best way to implement the Presidential Directives and promises U.M.A had received from H.E The President, we received confirmation that money for interns and SHO salary increment will be available and sent to the Accounts of Ministry of Health in a short time. We got assurance from the PS , and his team that the money required to enhance salary of all doctors as per the Presidential Directive will be put on the Budget paper framework for the next financial year.
The Office of the Prime Minister responded to U.M.A’s request for a discussion of the Implementation plan document that we had submitted to her office requesting to stream line the implementation of the Presidential directives. This meeting was very critical because it would guide on the way forward as regards next steps.
The Rt. Hon Prime Minister met with U.M.A NEC on 2nd November 2021 in a meeting from 9:00 am at her office. Present at this crucial meeting were a member of the U.M.A Elders forum Prof. Omaswa and the Workers MPs Hon. Byakatonda and Hon Margaret Rwabushaija. Further discussions on the issues outlined in the Implementation plan for the Presidential Directives aimed at Improving the Welfare of Doctors were held with the Rt.Hon. Prime Minister. A number of agreements were reached between the parties on these discussed issues and achievable timelines. We are awaiting the signed document from the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister on the agreed Implementation plan.
U.M.A will hold a meeting with its member doctors to update them on the documented outcomes of these many meetings with its members on Saturday 4th December 2021 in an extraordinary general assembly to discuss a way forward on the ongoing industrial action and the outcome of this meeting will be communicated to the general public on a day that will be agreed on by the Assembly . We urge all medical workers to stay committed to ethics and professionalism during this time and to make sure that the emergency wards remain functional as specified in the U.M.A Emergency Cover Plan circulated to doctors earlier.
U.M.A thanks H.E The President of the Republic of Uganda and the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister for these continued engagements and for the government’s commitment to continued dialogue with medical doctors regarding their welfare. U.M.A thanks the Workers MPs for their commitment to the cause of improving medical doctors’ welfare. U.M.A thanks all the Government ministries who have engaged with us as we try to improve doctors welfare. U.M.A thanks the media fraternity, for the good work and service. U.M.A thanks everyone working tówards improvement of Doctors Welfare and a better health system.
Service with Honour