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Medical interns: UPC commends govt but concerned about ‘low allowance of shs1m’ 

(Last Updated On: 4 August 2023)

Kampala | At least 58 internship centres across the country started receiving medical interns as announced by the Ministry of Health last month. 

The interns’ redeployment came after several disagreements with the government which led to the former laying down their tools.

Key issues have been low pay (allowance) and poor living and working conditions. 

In a bid to halt the situation which has led to poor health service delivery across the country, Director General of Health Services in the Ministry of Health, Dr Henry George Mwebesa, in his July 27 circular, ordered the 1,901 medical interns to resume duties. 

Voicing their concerns over the development, Uganda Peoples Congress says it welcomes the deployment of 1,901 medical interns by the Ministry of Health.

“This is as a result of a long-time standoff between the Uganda Medical Association (UMA), Ministry of Health and Government regarding the deployment of medical interns and their emoluments.

“UPC has been very clear on the demand for an effective and functional health service system,” the party’s spokesperson, Sharon Arach Oyat said. 

Read more: Govt ready to deploy 1,901 medical interns

On July 26, 2023, UPC urged that the Ministry of Health drop its proposal of directing the interns to privately sponsor themselves, further guiding the ministry to play its “role accordingly”. 

“UPC also urged the government to ensure that science professionals are fully utilised alongside other professions and trades.  

“This new deployment gives a great sigh of relief to both the interns and their parents or guardians. The government through her line Ministry of Health should ensure effective and efficient health services by providing enough medicine and equipment to hospitals and deploying more science professionals,” Arach stated. 

However, she said, “The monthly allowance of 1 million shillings to medical interns is a drop in the ocean and out of touch with the reality as our prices of goods and services continue to rise day by day.”

UPC calls for an increment of the allowances to medical interns. In any case, medical interns should work in a conducive environment that is well facilitated as they transform from theory to real practical work.

“They need to fit into the hospital schedule and not be overworked as it may kill their spirit prematurely. Therefore, whatever challenges they face should be handled in a professional manner as we avoid stand-offs and encourage continuity of work.

“UPC calls upon the government to mobilise more resources towards this cause and try to meet the quality standards of a well-functioning health sector.”

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