Medical interns at Mulago National Referral Hospital have vowed not to end their strike, even if administration threaten them with dismissal and cancellation of their training.
The Mulago group that includes medical doctors, pharmacists and nurses on Monday joined counterparts in various parts of the country to lay down their tools citing nonpayment of their allowances over the last four months.
“This is too much to take and we shall not stop until we get our money. Just last year we took a painful decision to take a reduction on our monthly payment and now even the small percentage agreed on is not coming on time as agreed because we find it increasingly hard to work without facilitation,” an intern identified as Sharon tells EagleOnline.
The intern doctors are entitled to a monthly payment of 600,000 Shillings, a rate which was fixed last year after a reduction from the initial 800,000 Shillings. Mulago has been marred by negative publicity in the past weeks in which hospital administration failed to secure a new radiotherapy machine for the Uganda Cancer Institute.
There are about 850 intern doctors, 150 of them at Mulago National Referral Hospital alone, deployed for hands-on clinical experience at government medical facilities countrywide. The internship, which falls in the fifth year of study, is a pre-condition for one’s confirmation as a qualified doctor in the country.
Mulago hospital spokesperson Enock Kusasira was unreachable by press time but it is claimed that Mulago is not responsible for the delay in payment of allowances to the intern because their payments are provided by the Ministry of Health.