Mary Karooro Okurut, Uganda’s Minister for Gender, Labour and Social Development has challenged the country’s Medical Association, the body that unites medical practitioners to speak out about remarks attributed to former FDC president Dr Kiiza Besigye in which he allegedly said he regretted treating president Museveni.
Besigye, who was President Museveni’s personal physician during the five year bush war that catapulted the latter to power in 1986, was quoted by the Sunday Monitor as having said that he regretted treating the former National Resistance Army (NRA) rebel leader.
Besigye served under the Museveni government but later fell out with his boss citing diversion from the goals that inspired their five year guerrilla war.
“I used to be his doctor and I gave him treatment whenever he was sick. And by so doing, I did not know that I was creating a problem to the country,” Besigye was quoted by the Sunday Monitor while addressing a rally organised by Masaka Municipality MP Mathias Mpuuga in Masaka on Friday.
Now Karooro Okurut wants Uganda’s Medical Association to come out and pronounce itself with regard to what Besigye said.
In a Monday morning tweet via @Karooro_Okurut, Karooro says that for a doctor to come out and say he should have left his patient to die is an abhorrent statement and the body should speak out to uphold its ethical standards.
“What is the medical board saying about Dr. Besigye’s statement? A doctor stating that he should have left his patients to die!!” Karooro wondered.
She added “The doctors of Uganda are going to keep quiet about somebody ripping apart professional ethics?”
Prior to being passed as medical practitioners, physicians and other healthcare professionals take the Hippocratic Oath swearing to practice medicine honestly without any prejudices, an oath Okurut believes Besigye could have violated according to her tweets.
Even though Besigye has not come out to deny or confirm the statements attributed to him, many will be waiting to see how the country’s medical body responds.