Over 3000 health workers around the country will have to wait till the end of May to receive their pay since March.
The Director General Health Services Dr Acen Jane Ruth yesterday explained to the Parliament health committee most of the districts are just submitting their employees names.
Without giving details Acen says the districts that have not been included in the payroll had not submitted their pay change reports. The procedure entails closure of submissions by the 15th of every month. However, the Ministry of Public Service has now opened submissions to allow continuation upto the end of month.
Dr Acen is hopeful that between mid and end of May all nurses around the country would have accessed the payroll.
Last year Parliament had requested a write up on recruitment and enhancement of pay for critical cadres of health workers such as midwives.
The Ministry of Health obtained authority to fill vacant posts at all health centres threes and fours totaling to 10210. The first phase of the recruitment was concluded in March 2013.
While the ministry of health appointed 8079 workers, only 6839 reported to work and 3,037 accessed the payroll. This means 3802 workers will have to wait until end of May to access the payroll.
Even though the ministry got a go ahead to carry out a second phase of recruitment and have workers appointed and accessed to the payroll before 30th of June 2013, there is still a shortage of funds.
Meanwhile authority has been sought from the ministry of public service to allow service commissions to recruit enrolled comprehensive nurses as enrolled midwives.
Dr Acen says the ministry of health and development partners will fund the six month training for recruited comprehensive nurses. This is aimed at bridging the midwifery skill gap.
However, Atim Joyce Lucy from the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union says they are not in support of the new training. Atim argues that six months is not enough to get the nurses the required qualification. She also reveals that the Uganda nurses and midwives council is opposed to the move and will not register the nurses.
The ministry’s recruitment exercise has still failed to attract workers such as midwives, cold chain assistants and anaesthetists. This was especially in the hard to reach areas while some applicants applied and got more than one admission in different local government areas.
However, the Ministry of Health officials blamed the public service ministry for turning away some health workers by failing to indicate that they are supposed to earn 2.3 million shillings. Instead the letters of appointment only show that they are to be paid 800,000 shillings without including the retention allowance of 1.5 million shillings.
Public service officials were given a week within which to send circulars and include attachments explaining the payment.