Raise healthcare worker pay and ban private practice – Mulago ED
The Executive Director of Mulago National Referral Hospital, Dr. Byarugaba Baterana, has spoken out on issues relating to the remuneration of health workers in Uganda.
Last year, on November 6, the Uganda Federation of Medical Trainees (FUMI) announced a national strike. It was to protest against poor working conditions and pay.
They then agreed to return to work after the government agreed on December 17, 2021 to increase monthly allowances for medical interns, pharmacists, nurses/midwives to 2.5 million, 2 million and 1.5 million shillings respectively.
In addition, Information Minister Dr. Chris Baryomunsi pledged in the letter to repay outstanding arrears.
However, when interfacing with the parliamentary health committee, Dr Byarugaba warned that increasing their salary was not enough on its own.
“I told the ministry and other people, including the Prime Minister, that even if you raise salaries without having a law to prevent those in government from working in the private sector, you cannot get a increase in service delivery,” Byarugaba warned. .
“…. Balkan countries; Serbia, Macedonia, Albania, Asia, Cape Verde, Barbados, Guatemala, no document says that when you increase the salaries of health workers, there will be a corresponding increase in service delivery.
“If you want to increase their salary, you also have to put in place rules that if you work in government, never work in private. If we find you in private, we will fine you.
“I have read the standing orders cover to cover, but they are actually very weak and cannot implement them. So what can a manager like me and other officers do?”
Considering this to be reasonable, the deputy chairman of the committee, Yoweri Ssebikaali (MP for Ntwetwe County) guided this to make such a policy work; the remuneration of health workers must reach convincing levels.
“If a person earns like Ush 5 million or a doctor Ush 3.5 million and you want to limit it to one area, what about children going to school. I sent my children to school, but at least these lower schools take 2 million per term. So how do you expect a military doctor to pay for his children? Illustrated Ssebikaali.
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