Uganda Medical workers on deadly silent strike

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Pregnant women wait unattended at Mulago maternity ward

For more than two months now, Kenyan public sector doctors and nurses have been on a nationwide strike demanding for a 300% pay rise from their government as promised in a Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) signed between their union and the government three years ago.

As expected, many Kenyans have suffered and many have lost lives during this period especially those who could not afford to pay for the overwhelmed private medical services.

In Uganda, there is no announced strike, but the public health sector is ailing and the medics have resorted to all kinds of unethical means to extort money from patients to cover up the gap caused by the poor pay by government, in addition to abandoning their duty stations for private work.

In Kenya, the striking medics are asking government to honor its promise so that the medical workers can commit their time and enjoy their profession as they serve their population. It’s common knowledge that in Uganda, a medical personnel works for a week and goes off duty the following week. So they work for barely two weeks in a month!

Two months ago, my close friend went to deliver at a public facility in Mukono district. She was informed that she had to undergo a caesarian section which cost Ugx 300,000 or she had to be referred in case she didn’t have the money. The husband had to look for this money in addition to footing bill of all sundries required for delivery.

This was not the first and last case, many mothers who would successfully be delivered normally end up being operated on because it is easier to justify the charges when a theatre operation is done than a normal delivery.

In health facilities where sundries like gloves, are lacking, how do you expect intensive care facilities like functional incubators, oxygen, and blood in case transfusion becomes necessary to be available?

Many unlucky mothers do not make it from these abhorrent operations just like my sister Ruth who passed on, a few hours after such an operation at Kisenyi health center IV under similar circumstances, living behind her 9 hours baby to suffer for the rest of its life!

For Kenyan medics, we know why they are striking and once that is given, there is commitment to resume work professionally. But for Uganda’s case we seem to be in a permanent state of suffering from a rotten health care system that has become a death trap to the citizens and no one seems to care as if all is well.

1 COMMENT

  1. Dear Editor, Hi. I’m requesting you to publish my article, warning you and other Ugandans who won land and property lawfully, that we are in danger of being landless and paupers in Uganda. I want followers to watch out for these kind of thefts orchestrated by those rich men in position of trust and power. This is an example how they wanted to steal my land along the Bakuli-Nakulabye-Kasubi-Namungoona Road where the World bank loaned and remitted last year $185 to KCCA through Uganda govt for this project. Funds were swindled and used up during their February 2016 Election period. Now they are trying to cover up the deficiencies by stealing from the ordinally citizens like me.

    This is how it goes. Please refer to the 2 attached Disclosure forms:

    The 1st form issued to me in March 2016 shows a total area they wanted to buy from me of 0.216 acre ( 0.08+0.136) = 21.6 decimals. It was valued at 404.32M

    The 2nd Disclosure form issued to me in Feb 2017 shows a reduced area to be purchased from me, 0.209 acre = 20.9 This is an amendment to “reduce” potion of what they want to acquire and compensate. They revalued it at 58.52m! OMG!

    21.6 Decimals – 20.9 Decimals = 0.07 decimal reduction in area

    404.32m – 58.52m= 354.8m reduction in payment

    Meaning that the reduction in area, 0.7 decimal, is valued at Sh. 354.8 millions???

    I’m a trained Fraud Investigator and the moment I received their KCCA forms to sign, I did what is expected of me. Im a whistle blower and I will reach to the top of the World Bank Audit and monitoring Department in charge of Africa- Uganda, on behalf of the rest of my neibhors who I think are in the same boat. KCCA was to compensate 50 land owners. I hear that they have reduced the number to 15.
    What is amazing is that when KCCA was applying for the loans, they used the original valuations, e.g 404m plus disturbance allowance for me. Now that they got the money, they are asking me to sign for 58m. When time comes to account for the funds, Im sure they will present the original evaluation figures. I bet you.

    Thanks alot

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