URN.Batuwa requested the Speaker to allow him to move a motion without notice so that parliament arrives at a decision on the ongoing strike by intern doctors and the crisis it has posed in health facilities.
The Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has granted leave to Jinja West MP, Timothy Lusala Batuwa to present a motion about the welfare of doctors.
Oulanyah’s decision followed Batuwa’s request to allow him to move a motion without notice so that parliament makes a decision on the ongoing strike by intern doctors and the crisis it has posed in health facilities. Batuwa is also the Shadow Minister for Health.
However, Oulanyah said that the proposed issue is important that needs a formal motion to be presented and then allow legislators to debate. He noted that many MPs have several issues to say about the current situation given that parliament appropriated funds for intern doctors allowances.
Oulanyah granted leave to Batuwa to prepare a motion that will be presented to the House on Thursday for formal debate.
Oulanyah’s ruling follows the arrest of doctors under the Uganda Medical Association-UMA who on Wednesday marched to Parliament with a petition seeking the intervention of Parliament in the ongoing industrial action.
The doctors who include medical interns, representatives of dental pre-interns, nurses, and midwives at the Bachelor level were led by the President of UMA, Dr. Samuel Oledo. They were intercepted by police near the Ministry of Gender, Labour, and Social Development along George street in Kampala.
Like their seniors, medical interns laid down their tools over low salaries, compensating families of doctors that succumbed to COVID-19 in line of duty, working with limited tools such as sundries and personal protective equipment in addition to constant drug stock-outs in hospitals.
The doctors are also protesting the health ministry’s decision to evict all medical interns from their training health facilities.
With doctors and interns on strike, medical services in hospitals are being offered by skeletal staff mostly consisting of senior health officials. Now with the pending eviction, the doctors say they will withdraw such services and leave hospitals with no doctors on call.