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By Joel Mugabi

Striking medical interns and Senior House Officers (SHOs) will soon get paid after Matia Kasaija’s Ministry of Finance, Planning and Economic Development (MoFPED) assured the Wandegeya-based Ministry of Health (MoH) that funds for paying them are available and would be released soon.

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On strike since early last month, medical interns have over the weeks refused to return to work as the Government processes their allowance enhancements. While President Yoweri Museveni had instructed that intern doctors’ allowances be increased from Shs700,000 to Shs2.5m starting in the 2021-2022 Financial Year (which began in July 2021), the implementation of this directive had delayed, prompting intern doctors under their Federation of Ugandan Medical Interns (FUMI) to declare a strike.

But Parliament would later pass a supplementary budget that includes funds to cater for the interns’ allowances. In her later dated December 15, which was addressed to Executive Directors of National Referral Hospitals, Directors of Regional Referral Hospitals, Medical Superintendents of General Hospitals and Medical Directors of Private-not-for-profit (PNFP) Hospitals, MoH Permanent Secretary Dr Diana Atwine revealed that MoFPED has confirmed that it would soon release the funds to pay medical interns.

PS Dr Atwine also confirmed that, as the MoH Accounting Officer, she has already submitted a request for the cash limit for the amount needed to pay the interns and SHOs. She has now ordered directors of hospitals to submit lists of interns so that they get paid as soon as MoFPED releases the funds. Dr Atwine expects the heads of health facilities to have submitted final lists by Monday next week.

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“In view of the fact that some interns might have changed training centers of internship, while others might have completed internship in October 2021, we need to have an accurate record of interns and SHOs in the respective internship training centers to inform our payments of the allowances, as soon as the money is sent to the Ministry of Health,” the PS wrote. “This is therefore to instruct that you submit lists of all the interns and SHOs in your respective health facilities to my office, no later than 20th December 2021.” (For comments on this story, call, text or whatsapp us on 0705579994 [whatsapp line], 0779411734, 0200900416 or email us






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