Government needs Shs700b annually to meet doctors’ demands

By Lillian Namagembe

Government needs Shs700b annually to meet the striking doctors’ demands.

According to a breakdown by Daily Monitor, the listed enhanced allowances alone including overtime, housing, transport, medical risk, and retention which vary according to seniority are estimated at Shs89b annually.

On top of these, the doctors also demand 4.0cc vehicles for each medical consultant and 2.0cc for each medical officer which are estimated at a total amount of 167b.

For their proposed salary enhancement, government will need Shs374b annually to cater for the Shs8.5m for intern doctors, Shs17m for Senior House Officers, Shs40m for consultant doctors and Shs45m for senior consultant doctors amounting to Shs439b annual salary.

This brings the grand total to Shs 695b without the new doctors’ quarters that they want government to construct for them and also pay their domestic workers.

Although government insists it has no money, Dr Ekwaro Obuku, the president of the Uganda Medical Association says it can be found since health care delivery is an essential service and government is mandated to take care of its priorities.

Currently, a senior consultant doctor earns about Shs3.4 million, consultant Shs2.6m and a medical officer Shs1.1 million.

Interns receive Shs 960,000 while Senior House Officers who carry out specialized health services in designated government health facilities as part of their curriculum are not paid by government.