The Minister of Health, Hon. Jane Ruth Aceng directed all Health Workers in Uganda and the General Public that the strike by Uganda Medical Association is illegal and All Medical Workers who were misled to join the strike must resume duty with immediate effect.
The minister said this while addressing journalists at Ministry of Health Headquarters in Kampala to give the stand of government on the ongoing strike by medical doctors in the country.
“All Health Workers who adhere to this directive shall not be subjected to any disciplinary action and shall be provided with adequate protection by the Government.” Aceng
Ruth Aceng gave sound warning to the ring Leaders of illegal strike that they must desist from interfering with the smooth provision of medical services in the country.
She urged the Interns who were misled to join the illegal strike to resume duty immediately and those who will not adhere to this directive shall forfeit their internship and shall be required to reapply for consideration.
It should be noted that Doctors under the Uganda Medical Association led by a one Dr. Ekwaro-Obuku laid down their tools on the allegations that Government had not heeded to their pleas for better remuneration and favorable working conditions.
Consequently, on the 7th November 201 7, “we wrote to the Solicitor General for legal advice on the legality of the industrial action wherein, as the Legal Advisor to Government”, the Solicitor General has clarified on the situation
The minster says that members of Uganda Medical Association, engaged in industrial action by laying down their tools because of what the members deemed as Government failure to meet their demands including but not limited to salary enhancements and by so doing the action paralysed health services in most Government hospitals.
“The Uganda Medical Association is not a registered trade union and cannot enjoy the rights, immunities and privileges provided under the labour unions Act, as these only accrue to registered unions.”Aceng
She continues to state that there is a court order dated 1 st March 2017, restraining a one Mr. Charles Yiga, Dr. Ekwaro Obuku and Ms. Eva Nangalo from interfering with or any matter connected with the Uganda Medical Workers’ Union, pending the court ruling.
By Dr. Ekwaro Obuku mobilizing the Doctors to lay down their tools, when they are under the Uganda Medical Workers’ Union, tantamount to contempt of the court order.
The Uganda Medical Association Memorandum of Association objects are clearly spelt out as promote the medical and allied sciences, maintain the honor and interests of the medical profession and society in Uganda – also maintain a high standard of professional ethics among members of the medical profession.
“It is not stated anywhere nor can it be inferred from the Memorandum of Association for UMA that they are established to interfere in the provision of services by the doctors at their places of work.” So the involvement of UMA in influencing the public service activities by calling on doctors to strike is illegal and should cease henceforth and the perpetuators should be treated as trespassers. Aceng.