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Uganda deploys military doctors to replace striking doctors

BY Tom Mugisha , tom.mugisha@alleastafrica.com

 

KAMPALA – Uganda government has deployed military, police and prisons doctors to work in the hospitals where patients have been stuck since the doctors went on strike since November 6.

The Health Minister, Dr Ruth Aceng said on Wednesday night that already 10 military doctors had been deployed at Mulago National Referral Hospital.

All striking doctors have been asked to quit the hospital premises as government embarks on a recruitment process of new doctors who are willing to work under the current public service terms.

President Museveni, according to Dr Aceng, had authorised the health ministry’s request to have doctors from armed forces deployed to attend to patients at Mulago’s satellite hospitals at Kawempe and Kiruddu.

“I notified the president that I needed support. He told the army that the Ministry of Health needed support,” Dr Aceng said.

The announcement was after the government committee appointed to negotiate with the striking doctors failed to agree with the striking doctors.

 “The demand by other doctors and yourselves are genuine, and we have never deviated from them but the methodology is wrong,” Dr Aceng told members of UMA.  “And, I maintain my stand on the advice of the Solicitor General (official government adviser) that the strike is illegal although the demands are not illegal.”

Dr Aceng last week told the doctors that the Public Service (Negotiating, Consultative and Disputes Settlement Machinery) Act No 10 of 2008 gives a right to workers to withdraw labour or call for a strike in furtherance of a labour dispute provided the negotiating machinery is exhausted

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