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Opposition Backs Doctors’ Strike as Gov’t Unveils New Negotiations Team

Uganda’s political opposition groups have thrown their weight behind the doctors’ strike, adding fuel to a crisis that threatens to cripple the country’s public health sector.

“We fully associate with and support the Doctors’ strike,’ the opposition said in a joint statement at the FDC Party Headquarters.

The Acting FDC Party President Alice Alaso Asianut, Party President of Jeema, Hon Asuman Basalirwa and CP President, Hon Ken Lukyamuzi said they were working together in pursuit of a common cause.

The party leaders said the doctors’ strike is “constitutional and legitimate,” adding, “an industrial action can be taken by employees of an industry in an attempt to express their grievances.”

“We support it because their demand is not only pay rise but also better working conditions.”

The doctors are protesting among others poor pay, lack of medicine, vaccines and emergency equipment at their places of work; as well as harassment and frequent arrest of colleagues by the State House Health Monitoring Unit.

They demand improvement of equipment supply, enhanced pay and disbandment of the Health Monitoring Unit with was established by President Museveni in 2009 as a strategic response to existing challenges in the health sector and the resulting poor service delivery.

Interns have as well joined the strike, paralyzing business in public health facilities.

Opposition say “their demand is long overdue.”

During a Cabinet meeting held on Monday, Minister Aceng briefed government about the strike by Doctors.

Aceng is accused of making “irresponsible statements” which have escalated the situation.

Rugunda said Cabinet established a Committee to “engage the doctors to bring the industrial action to an end.”

The Committee comprises the Ministers of Health, Finance, Public Service, Education and Sports, Gender, Labour and Social Development and the Attorney General.

This post was syndicated from ChimpReports. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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