By Spy Uganda
Kampala: Incoming medical interns in Uganda on Sunday announced a nationwide boycott of all government hospitals.
The move comes after the government gave striking medical interns one week to vacate government hospital premises to pave the way for new medical interns and to hand over hospital property in their possession.
The letter ordering them to vacate was signed by Dr. Henry Mwebesa, the director-general of health services.
The medical interns’ decision to boycott government hospitals came after they met Sunday evening at the Mulago National Referral Hospital in the capital Kampala.
Dr. Hebert Luswata, the general secretary of the Uganda Medical Association (UMA), said they will meet soon with the leadership of the Federation of Uganda Medical Interns and come up with a plan, adding they have also consulted with the Center for Health, Human Rights and Development (CEHURD) to advise on legal redress.
Luswata said the document sent to the medical interns demanding that they vacate government hospitals is a mere threat and the interns’ industrial action is legal.
“Strikes are legally allowed in Uganda. What the government should do is negotiate with the striking doctors. The government is at a loss,” he said.
He said they are also going to court so they can get an injunction against the government’s decision.
The medical interns went on strike on Nov. 21 demanding better salaries, compensation for the families of doctors who succumbed to COVID-19 while on duty, more personal protective equipment and other related supplies and the stocking of hospitals with all necessary drugs.