Medics vow to continue strike as meeting with Museveni ends fruitless

UMA officials in a meeting with President Museveni. (PPU PHOTO)

Kampala | RedPepper Digital – Doctors under their umbrella association of Uganda Medical Association (UMA) have vowed to continue with their industrial action, despite meeting with President Museveni.

The UMA and UMA Council of Elders held a crisis meeting with President Museveni at State House in Entebbe on Wednesday.

The meeting, according to both parties, was to resolve doctor’s welfare issues so as to halt the ongoing sit-down strike.

President Museveni said in a tweet shortly after the meeting that he had “reiterated the government’s commitment to enhancing their (doctor’s) salaries and welfare.”

Sources that attended the meeting also confirmed that “there was the constructive debate between both parties and positive resolutions as far as welfare and working conditions are concerned.”

The resolutions, according to the president and sources that attended the meeting, gave hope that doctors were to end their strike and get back to work.

But a statement released by UMA later on Tuesday seems to have dimmed this view.

In a statement dated November 23, 2021, UMA president Dr. Odongo Samuel Oledo and secretary-general Dr. Herbert Luswata said that they will “await implementation of the key items agreed on” before calling off the strike.

“We are waiting for a commitment from the government, implementation plan and tangible deliverables. Until then, we maintain the status quo in regards to Industrial Action,” the statement said.

UMA said that they remain committed to quality healthcare and the welfare of medical doctors in Uganda.

While announcing the strike earlier this week, UMA officials said they “did not want promises and meetings.”

The unresolved grievances of the medical workers continue to stifle Uganda’s health sector.

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