oyam north

Drop the proposed internship policy 

(Last Updated On: 14 June 2023)

By Arach Oyat Sharon

Kampala, June 14, 2023: The looming medical internship policy by the government that will have private medical interns immediately fund their transport, accommodation and basic needs as government provide only food allowances is not only controversial but a policy proposal that is going to undermine our health sector in several ways…

Especially at this time when its engulfed in a number of challenges which include understaffing, insufficient medical drugs and equipment, and distant health outlets which make it difficult for our people (patients) to access medical examination and treatment.

It should be noted that this long-time standoff of medical staff/interns seeking better pay has on several occasions invited dialogue between the government and the medical body to improve the conditions of staff through enhanced salaries and allowances with an agreed position. 

Much as the government has been always slow on the effective implementation of such agreed positions, at least the medical staff and interns expected a good update on steps taken to enhance their salaries and allowances as opposed to the looming new disastrous policy.

The government’s failure to do its part is a recipe for continued industrial unrest which is a great concern to the country.

The question of medical interns who are unable to proceed with their training raises great concern. 

Medical training and studies are inherently very expensive and if the government does not come to assist the private students, it means few of them shall manage to graduate and this poses a big question of what will become of our health sector with a small number of professionals. 

Also read: Arach Oyat: Tracking progress record of Parish Development Model 

UPC appeals to the government to go slow on the internship decisions and instead give the health sector a priority in funding. It only makes sense if the government continues to play her role of funding such productive programmes like medical internships.


The Covid-19 pandemic that put Uganda and the entire world on its knees, should be a good example for us as a country to produce more highly qualified doctors and champion health aspects. 

We should acknowledge that it is a very huge sacrifice and commitment for both parents and guardians to privately sponsor their daughters and sons for a medical course.

As we speak now, our ratio of doctors to patients is still low to the recommended standards of the World Health Organisation (WHO). 

By implication, we should be producing medical doctors on a large scale and creating attractive conditions for retaining them. The starting point is how we look after our medical interns. The retired ones may even be recalled and offered special contracts.

UPC emphasizes that the Government should drop the proposed internship policy and focus on improving the conditions of medical staff and interns. 

Our health sector needs to be given special attention. The more we give it a priority the better and it can drastically reduce the number of cases of patients we refer for overseas treatment.

The writer is the UPC Spokesperson 

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