By: Ismael Kasooha
The prime minister Robinah Nabbanja has asked health workers especially intern doctors to desist from demonstrations and strikes whenever they have grievances with the government.
“Intern doctors are synonymous with demonstrations whenever they have issues concerning their welfare but such a practice is not good for the profession,” said Nabbanja.
Nabbanja said that the public looks at the health workers as people who care about them and are humane but if they continue with demonstrations the public image towards them might change.
Nabbanja asked health workers to adhere to their ethical code of conduct while serving the public.
“Your profession is a calling to serve human kind therefore the public expect you to bring hope to them by serving diligently and ethically,” said Nabbanja.
Nabbanja made the remarks on Wednesday while officiating at the opening of a two-week leadership ideological orientation training for intern doctors at the national leadership institute-NALI Kyankwanzi.
Nabbanja said that whether the health workers are working in the public or private sector, adherence to professionalism is key to service delivery.
“As Government welcomes you to the field of practice as fully registered Health Professionals, and trained medical and political leaders, I would like to remind you to adhere to the Professional Ethics and Code of Conduct – whether you will be working in the Public or Private Sectors.
I am therefore calling on you young Ugandans to be Professional in your practice as you join this Noble Profession. Your Profession is a calling to prevent sickness and promote health; and to treat with compassion those that fall sick, NOT to exploit them,” said Nabbanja.
Nabbanja told the interns that Unfortunately, in most cases, they will be dealing with the vulnerable poor or those with chronic diseases that have drained their resources.
She asked them for a humanitarian spirit as well as patriotism and Pan Africanism which necessitated this training.
Nabbanja challenged the intern doctors to value the leadership training at Kyankwanzi because it will help them in their career development.
The premier appealed to health workers to be ambassadors of the government to preach unity for the development of the country.
“Uganda has been facing challenges of virus and disease outbreaks over time and the medical practitioners have been very vigilant, hardworking and cooperative with the Government as we dealt with these problems. I thank you for that and urge you to continue with that spirit as we build and move our nation towards self-reliance,” said Nabbanja. s
The prime Minister said that Uganda has been making strides in improving the health sector and has instituted several health sector reforms, causing significant progress and reducing maternal mortality and under-five mortality backed by the Health for All policy.
However, Nabbanja said that challenges relating to the availability, accessibility, and affordability of essential health services remain.
With a population of approximately 47.1 million people, Uganda faces a significant health worker shortage to attend to the current health needs and challenges. The Country, therefore, needs to produce more health workers.
She said that the NRM Government is also making all efforts to address the urban/rural imbalance in medical personnel.
Nabbanja asked the Ministry of Education and Sports and the National Council for Higher Education to be strict on the quality of education in Health Training Institutions to ensure we produce graduates who are not a danger to our population.
“The Government has enhanced the salaries of health workers and scientists. Specialists and all health workers must always be in hospitals discharging their duties, including teaching interns,” said Nabbanja.
She said on the other hand, the Ministry of Health must also ensure that Specialists directly supervise and teach interns during the internship. They should not leave interns to run hospitals on their own as they are busy running their private clinics.
Dr. Musa Lumumba, the president of the federation for medical interns and the course Coordinator at NALI said that the training has come at the right time to prepare them for their career.
“Well we have been in the mode of we go, we go, but after attending this leadership training we are changing our tactics to negotiate with the government because the country belongs to us all,” said Lumumba.
Brig. Gen. Charles Kisembo the director NALI asked the prime minister to prioritize the improvement of Bukwiri-Kyankwanzi road.
Kisembo underscored the importance of leadership training to all Ugandans.
The first batch of intern Medical workers is at NALI for leadership and ideological orientation training to serve the country.
President Yoweri Museveni is expected to address the medical interns at the end of the training.