President of the Federation of Medical Interns, Dr. Musa Lumumba, said the medical interns are simply demanding their allowances as promised earlier this year by the government.
While in a phone interview with James Onen, the Medical interns' President elaborated that due to delayed salary payments, the interns are starving and have not cleared rent arrears since September.
“People are broke and do not have what to eat. They are being evicted from their houses. How are they expected to work even if they have the PPEs? They will have no reason to wear them because they might end up collapsing in them,” he said.
Yesterday the Health Ministry requested the interns to desist from sit-down strikes, especially now that the country is grappling with the Ebola epidemic that has so far claimed 53 lives.
However, Dr. Musa reported that the Ministry of Health has not officially communicated to the medical interns about salary payments.
“The Ministry has not reached out for any conversation. We are indeed dealing with Ebola, but the response requires that the doctors, midwives, nurses, pharmacists, and surgeons are in the right state of mind to contribute to their efforts in the fight and defeat of Ebola,” he explained.
He added that for the last 68 days, medical interns were not paid, and many are now extorting money from patients to survive.
“We are asking the government to provide us with what is right. We are not asking for anything new. We are just asking for what is rightfully ours,” he pleaded.
While addressing the media on their strike, the speaker of Intern Pharmacists of Uganda, Prossy Nakyanzi, said medical interns were supposed to receive half of their seniors’ salaries.
She said that a senior pharmacist, doctor, and dental surgeon receives 5 million shillings. Interns in those fields were supposed to earn 2.5m shillings. The senior nurses receive Shs4.8m. The interns in the same category are to receive 2.4 m shillings.
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