HEALTH | DOCTORS STRIKE
Patients in public hospitals all over the country are stranded as the strike by doctors continues.
The strike, which has entered its second day, has paralysed health services in all public hospitals in the country. The sit down was declared on Monday by Uganda Medical Association (UMA) at their annual general assembly held at Makerere University College of Health Sciences in Mulago, Kampala.
Doctors want the government to increase salaries and duty allowances of health professionals, review the supply chain and management of medicines, vaccines and medical supplies, as well as disband the State House Medicine and Health Service Delivery Monitoring Unit.
The strike has affected all wards in different hospitals, with patients left to their own devices.
The patients, who woke up on Tuesday morning to seek medical services, were dismayed on finding the wards open, but doctors were busy chatting on their phones.
“Doctors are striking. We can only handle emergency cases. Please bear with us and seek medical attention from other sources until the situation normalises,” said a female nurse at Kawempe Referral Hospital.
Most hospitals are only handling women who are giving birth and those who are bleeding.
Intern doctors who reported to Mulago Hospital this morning had to leave because there were no doctors to supervise them.
Meanwhile, patients say they have no medication, but cannot leave because their files are with the striking medical personnel.
Meanwhile the patient’s fraternity has called upon doctors to end the strike.
“Whereas we believe that our doctors deserve better in their enumeration and welfare, we the Patients’ fraternity in Uganda are extremely concerned that the doctors have preferred an industrial action over saving lives and dialogue with government.
“We anticipate that the impact of the industrial is already costing lives of many innocent patients, children and expectant mothers at wards. We urgently call for an end to the declared industrial action by our doctors so as to save lives. There is need to urgently avert the impending death of the already vulnerable patients,” said Regina Kamoga, the Chairperson of Uganda Alliance of Patients’ Organisations (UAPO)
Kamoga urged the Government to show more commitment to addressing doctors concerns by providing them with tools to work with and by availing the patients the medicines they require.