Health Ministry Seeks shs10billion to Cater for Medical Interns

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In short
Permanent Secretary Asuman Lukwago says the number of medical interns increased from 200 to 840 without any budget increment to cater for the escalating numbers. He added that internal budget adjustments within the Ministry had been made and shs 6billiom reallocated to address the challenge.

The Health Ministry requires shs 10billion to fully cater for the increasing number of medical interns across the country, Permanent Secretary Asuman Lukwago has said. 

The requirement was highlighted in response to a presentation under the theme "Fast Tracking progress in addressing gaps in service delivery in the health sector," made during the National Resistance Movement (NRM) retreat in Kyankwanzi.

Key queries were raised on the delay in payment of interns, delayed implementation of Presidential pledges in the form of establishment and upgrade of some health facilities. Members were equally concerned about the lack of equipment in government facilities, under-staffing and indiscipline among health workers.

In response, Lukwago stated that the number of medical interns increased from 200 to 840 without any budget increment to cater for the escalating numbers. He added that internal budget adjustments within the Ministry had been made and shs 6billiom reallocated to address the challenge.

Lukwago however added that the ministry needs shs 10 billion to fully address the challenges faced by medical interns.

Last month, over 150 Intern health workers at Mulago hospital went on a sit down strike over nonpayment of their facilitation. The interns who included pharmacists, surgeons and nurses claimed they had not received their monthly stipend since October. They are entitled to shs 650,000 per month.

Similar cases have also been recorded in districts across the country in the recent past.

In the meeting, First Lady Janet Museveni commended the progress made by the sector but urged the Ministry to improve monitoring of health facilities and sensitization of the local population especially on matters related to hygiene and other preventable diseases.

 

About the author

Olive Nakatudde
Olive Nakatudde is a URN journalist based in Kampala. Nakatudde has been a URN staff member since 2013.

Nakatudde started out in journalism in 2009 with Dembe FM radio in Kampala. In 2012, Nakatudde joined Voice of Africa as a political reporter. She has been a photographer since her journalism school days at Makerere University.

Nakatudde is interested in good governance and public policy, which she reports on intensively from the Uganda Parliament. She is a keen follower of cultural affairs in Buganda Kingdom and covers the kingdom's Lukiiko (parliament). Nakatudde also reports on education and health.