UMA chairperson Dr. Ekwaru Obuku

Dear Doctors

I am Moses Woira, a Ugandan from a family background with many medical and health workers. I have read your demands and agree that the salary you get is little compared to what doctors get in other states. Indeed, it takes years of intensive study, hard physical and mental work, and unsocial hours of duty to become a Doctor therefore, it is legitimate to seek better salaries and allowances reflective of your years of training. I am with you in your demands just like many Ugandans are.

But I must divert from your methodology, and deplore and denounce you for the way you have chosen to have your demands fulfilled. It is conduct unbecoming of a doctor. Bluntly speaking, you should be ashamed to call yourself a doctor. On graduation, you took the Hippocratic Oath but what you are doing is simply violating that sacred oath, which puts you doctors on a higher pedestal in any society – a role model for all.

Think, who goes to government hospitals? It is the poor, deprived and destitute; those who live in huts and shacks on the pavements, the very poor, those with emergencies who constitute the majority of the population. They are suffering and dying because of your actions. Tell me, are they the ones who will make decisions about your demands? Certainly not. So why have you targeted them? What harm have they done to you? Your action is nothing sort of irresponsible and criminal act. Can you not see that by targeting these poor and deprived you are alienating those whom you should be bringing to your side and make them sympathize with your just demands? By your actions, you have not only lost their trust but made them your enemy for the rest of your lives, for the dear ones they have lost on account of your actions will always be remembered.

If this isn’t political, then there is no reason for you learned people to continue striking yet you even still want your jobs back in case the issue is sorted. If I am to ask anyway, will you take back the salary on your accounts for the time you have taken off duty? I say this without fear of contradiction because many people have died in my presence ever since you started striking and I know the pain that the families of these people are going through. By your actions, you have given proof of moral decline to a level of decay. I am very sure in the earlier days of Independence, health workers never proved to be disastrous like you are presently. Maybe I should also say that issues suffered by today’s doctors were unknown during those days.

I support your issues raised by Dr. Obuku for any unjust law or unfairness to you but not in a way that harms innocents. Think of protesting in a different way which doesn’t harm the poor and the disadvantaged. Go back to work, see these patients, make them aware to your plight, gain their sympathy and bring them on your side as these other issues are sorted by the Commission that was put in place to work on the salary disparities.

I know many of you are ripping a lot of money during this period because some of us have analyzed your strike and found out the other side of it.

A doctor friend told me that ever since the strike started the statistics show that private hospitals, clinics and pharmacies have got high numbers of patients and this has really worked out for all these doctors who have private workplaces, as you are now directing all patients to your private work places and overcharging them for the services. As a person who foresees issues at times, I see you still want the strike to go on because you are ripping a lot of money from patients who are using your facilities. But as you do that just know you are punishing your fellow human beings. Indeed, being a doctor shouldn’t let you think that you next to God and you have to act and arrogantly speak like the ring leader has been doing since the activism started.

For now I will stop at that and look at you enjoying money at your clinics as poor Ugandans who can’t afford bills at your private hospitals and clinics are dying.

Michael Woira

Patriotic Ugandan.